We were appointed by Westminster City Council to design an extension to Paddington Green Primary School allowing the school to expand from a one-form to two-form entry. Westminster required a fast track solution to provide the additional teaching space in time for occupation by the start of the autumn term 2006. We started work in February 2005 and achieved planning consent by mid June. It was completed in 2007.
The two storey timber frame building houses a new hall, dining room, kitchens, classrooms and was designed to be constructed off site to speed up the programme and reduce disruption to the school. The building is essentially a rectangular box attached to the existing school by a glazed atrium that houses the new stair and lift. The atrium serves as the new central core to the school giving access to and linking all the floors, both old and new, with the reception and secretarial office being relocated here to form a new hub from which the school will operate.
The design has a predominantly glazed and open ground floor, with coloured panels around the serviced areas, and a harder surface of oxidised copper on the upper floors, which are seen to wrap around the building, enclosing the lightness of the glazed ground floor. By using glazing on the ground floor the outdoor playground and indoor hall can be seen as one large space with the existing nature area to the east almost spilling into the hall. The glazing continues at each end of the building where classrooms look out onto the playground and into the tree canopy through various window openings on the east side of the building. The interplay between indoor and outdoor space, an integration of activities, aims to animate the learning environment to create a fun, modern school.