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Graveney School Sixth Form Block, Tooting

Teachers and students seem to thrive in the environment

Credit: Killian O'Sullivan

Urban Projects Bureau for Graveney Trust

Contract value: £0.98m

GIA: 808m2

RIBA London Client of the Year Award


The school had considered buying an off-the-shelf prefabricated block, but the nearby grade II-listed Furzedown House meant such generic buildings would not have got planning. The decision to use CLT was based on its rapid on-site construction, inherent sustainability, the feel and the look, appealing to the client as much as it did to the designer.

This is an inspirational space; both teachers and students seem to thrive in the environment. Daylight is beautiful, abundant and balanced, while the combination of views out, double-aspect teaching spaces, roof-lights and translucent facade of double-skin polycarbonate, is bewitching.

  • Credit: Killian O'Sullivan
  • Credit: Killian O'Sullivan
  • Credit: Killian O'Sullivan
  • Credit: Killian O'Sullivan

Classrooms, communal areas and external spaces have strong connectivity and communality  the exposed CLT construction creating an overarching identity for the spaces, lending a robust and tactile warmth.

This labour of love achieves a huge amount on a tight budget and sets an important precedent for a typology where aspirations and vision might seem in short supply.

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