King Alfred School
The Arts & Science Building at King Alfred School in Hampstead was originally built in the 70’s and by the late 1990’s was no longer adequate to provide teaching facilities for the majority of the science subjects as well as visual arts, music and drama.
Given the constraints of the campus, which would not permit further development at ground level, an additional floor to the existing building was planned, to provide a new home for the Art department.
The project involved a complete re-think of the building’s vertical circulation. The removal of the existing internal stair and the introduction of a new external one made further area available for teaching, whilst providing a focus not only for the building but also the small ‘courtyard’ in which it is located.
The Science department is now accommodated on the entire ground floor, and Music and Drama enjoy the re-configured first floor. The new floor houses a large studio, computer facilities, sixth form studio and ceramics studio.
As the existing building did not have enough capacity to carry the additional load, the new ‘top-hat’ extension needed to be of light weight construction and partially self-supported, by means of external columns. The walls are timber framed and clad in red cedar with hardwood windows and doors, all left untreated to achieve a patina and avoid a maintenance cycle.
A north-light runs the entire length of the building providing daylight and ventilation.