St Thomas the Apostle College, London SE15

Exceptional value for money

· Credit: Edmund Sumner

Allies and Morrison for Balfour Beatty Construction with 4futures for the London Borough of Southwark

Contract value: £14.5m.

GIA: 72,000m2

A series of new school buildings on a former car park form a quad with an existing church and school hall on one side. The skill of the architect in response to significant government budgetary cuts was a design that results in bright dual-aspect classrooms, more active children and exceptional value for money. 

  • · Credit: Edmund Sumner
  • · Credit: Edmund Sumner
  • · Credit: Edmund Sumner
  • · Credit: Edmund Sumner
  • · Credit: Edmund Sumner
  • · Credit: Edmund Sumner
  • · Credit: Edmund Sumner
  • · Credit: Edmund Sumner
  • · Credit: Edmund Sumner
  • · Credit: Edmund Sumner
  • · Credit: Edmund Sumner

By removing almost all internal circulation, spend is concentrated on classrooms. Large access decks wrap around the new landscaped courtyard. With pupils thus regularly outdoors, concentration levels have improved.

The access decks are behind a brick colonnade, giving a collegiate feel while masking cheaper materials beyond. Intelligent design and close working with the school has achieved an enormous amount for relatively little: a real exemplar of what good architecture can bring to school design.


See other winners in the RIBA Regional Awards 2015 – London