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Buildings, Maintenance & Refurbishment John Roan School, London


he John Roan School is an existing 1,400-pupil secondary school adjacent to Greenwich Park.

John McAslan + Partners was appointed in 2010 to

remodel both the existing Grade II listed building and to provide 8,000 sqm of new school and community accommodation across the split-site campus. The project now offers significantly improved school accommodation and

much needed restoration of the existing grade II listed building which was in a poor state of repair. The project’s objectives were to create a school with an inclusive ethos,

meeting the diverse needs of all; a centre for lifelong learning within the community; a flexible amenity for multiple school and community uses; a project that is demonstrably good value for money; high quality buildings that are sensitive to their context and a sustainable design with a ‘Very Good’ BREEAM rating. The Westcombe Park building is a new build school, with a range of

flexible, transformational learning environments for years 9, 10 and 11. A large, double-height entrance area connects the Main Education Block and Sports Block, a sports and amenity building which can be operated independently as a community facility. The entrance foyer is conceived as a dramatic ‘hub’, a flexible space incorporating stepped seating for informal gatherings, break-out and performance. The scheme now provides classrooms, a central dining space, design and

technology labs, music and drama studios, open plan ICT break out areas, staff bases, a sports hall, changing facilities, an activities studio and DSP and SEN facilities, an open learning resource centre, staff and office accommodation and a winter garden. To help articulate the massing of the building, two bricks, differing in

colour and texture, create a facade with diagonal brick patterning, adding detail and craftsmanship.

The design evolved through community and stakeholder outreach - public

exhibitions, a project website and direct community and stakeholder contact. All members of staff and students had their say within fortnightly school meetings with designated BSF Champion and Head Teacher, in addition to sessions involving students and the wider staff community. Drawings and models highlighted the evolution of the design and feedback from the students was added to a ‘cool wall’ identifying what was ‘cool’ and what they found ’uncool’. A new piazza has created a school entrance with a civic character, with

paving flowing through the reception area and beyond into the school grounds to the south, providing visual continuity and enhancing the integration of the building and landscape. External landscaped learning spaces to the north and south of the new

building create thresholds/outdoor classrooms and social spaces, designed to support the children’s emotional well-being, stimulating their senses and challenging their motor skills. John Roan School is one of five projects undertaken by the London

Borough of Greenwich (LBG) as part of the first wave of the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme. The project was funded with capital funding, unlike many of the other BSF

schools at the time which were PFI funded. Although the BSF programme ended in 2010, funding for the project had already been secured in 2006. Additional funding was provided by the John Roan Foundation (which owns the Maze Hill building) which paid for some additional refurbishment works to the existing building not covered by the BSF budget. April 2015 29

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