fulham pre-prep school
The school located within walking distance of Putney Bridge Tube station sits on a constrained urban site on Fulham High Street.
The strategic ambition for this commission is to improve some of the existing accommodation on the school site and to provide new teaching and learning spaces that are better suited to 21st century learning.
The existing historical building will benefit from being brought back to its original form with a major refurbishment creating a new double height library facility adjacent to the main entrance.
At the front of the school and facing onto Fulham High Street, a new infill building will house a dedicated art facility and double height teaching space.
At the rear of the site will be new reception classrooms and improved play areas.
All Interfaces between “new” and “old” have been modelled in a way that the original qualities will be expressed. The intention is that wherever the new touches the old this is done sensitively and with a light touch.
Modern abstract art can be seen to imitate the drawing of a child, through playful uses of composition and colour. The collage by Charles and Ray Eames was a tool for experimenting and rearranging, working on balancing tensions between architecture, furniture and art. As designers we are keen to study relationships between volumes of physical objects and the space in which they occupy, carefully representing these through imagery. This precedent collage inspires our thinking, through the way in which a rigorous spatial study is shown through an incautious representation.
By translating this image within the design process of the library, one begins to draw upon relationships between the inhabitants, structure and space, as well as through the concept of colour and abstraction to engage with the children visually.
The existing Victorian building adds to the character of the street and associated Fulham Park Conservation Area and it was felt that the new building while being secondary to the old should also be allowed to add richness and delight to the street and conservation area.
This has been achieved, primarily, by the way the new buildings scale and massing has been established in relationship to the old but also by the sensitive selection of materials for the new building elements. The proposal responds considerately to the existing materials by treating the new buildings with a simple palette of materials which will be used throughout.