Westminster City School was one of the first remodelled schools to be completed in central London under the UK government’s Building Schools for the Future initiative. Over the last century, the school campus suffered from piecemeal development. Bringing the school up to date involved creating a new education building, demolishing two buildings and redeveloping the remaining buildings including the 1870s main building.
By addressing massing, form and materials, Stantec’s design knits together these building elements to create a legible, coherent and successful whole. The unfussy clean lines, glazing and vernacular brick of the new ‘gateway’ building create a dynamic street presence. A ‘long-life, loose-fit’ approach to redeveloping the main building created a variety of flexible spaces with enhanced departmental adjacencies.
One of the main challenges was increasing accommodation while retaining external space. Stantec achieved this by locating the new building at the front of the site away from the main yard, partially sinking the new sports hall and creating rooftop external dining and gardens.
The success of this project is in creating a welcoming and vibrant school which supports wellbeing and academic achievement.