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Putney High School

New science and performing arts building at one of London's best known independent schools

The new 2,000m² building at Putney High School will provide nine new science labs, a drama studio, a new music department and a forum that has been designed to develop the practice and performance of the spoken word.

The school, which is part of the Girls Day School Trust (GDST), is located on Putney Hill that rises from the River Thames up to Wimbledon Common and responding to the rising ground, the building looks in two directions with four storeys on to the street and three levels facing on to the school lawn.

The building will replace the existing timber framed, brick and glass clad science block that was built in the early 1970s increasing the amount of teaching space and also offering more focused and flexible learning environments for the students.

This building is being designed to be adaptable and flexible, futureproofing the school environment. The new building offers several efficiencies and brings the music and drama departments together into a single home adjoining the existing Performing Arts Centre. The new performing arts teaching spaces are purpose designed to support the high quality learning and teaching in the departments.

The design approach was to create a reserved and elegant building, blending and subtly referencing the surrounding architecture. Constructed mainly of London brick and inspired by classical proportions, the building features copper clad strips alongside the main windows. The south-facing facade at the heart of the site has a colonnade that provides solar shading to minimize heat gains and glare and maximise daylight in the teaching spaces, all aspects that have a crucial impact on learning.

Visualisation of south facing façade and rear garden lawn to new science and performing arts building for Putney High School in London, UK.

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