Highly accomplished Marlborough Primary School by Dixon Jones

August 20, 2018

The RIBA London Award and RIBA National Award 2018 are just the start of a long list of accolades that Marlborough Primary School, based in the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, has won for its redeveloped design by Dixon Jones. Since it opened on 11th September 2017, the school has also received commendations at both the New London Architecture and Schueco Excellence Awards; it became a finalist for the British Construction Industry Awards; and it has recently been shortlisted in the Education Building Category at the 2018 Brick Awards.

The challenging design brief of the Marlborough School redevelopment plan received planning permission in 2013 and forms part of a wider regeneration masterplan for an area of Chelsea, comprising three separate but interlinked schemes; The Marlborough Interim School, The New Marlborough School and the Clearings residential scheme.

Flooded with daylight, and coupled with a variety of external play spaces on several levels, the daily life of both the teacher and student have been greatly enhanced. Dixon Jones’ clever design of carefully orchestrated connections and variable screens also enable communal spaces to be made for different scales of event, in order to support a diverse range of teaching, play and social areas.

As one of 93 projects shortlisted by the RIBA for a London regional award, Dixon Jones was described as creating “an impressive new urban block, linking the school to the city, whilst providing a terraced place of learning that is readable, fresh and distinctive – a school that will encourage pupils to play, learn and achieve.”

Photography © Paul Riddle

The Freshfield Lane Danehill Yellow bricks from Michelmersh add bright hues and warm tones to the heavy contextual brick environment that surrounds the school, with geometric openings to subtly suggest differing activities inside.

The school and commercial buildings are built using contrasting materials, allowing for differing characteristics to be presented at street level. The school takes on a more expressive civic role through a richer variety of materials and bespoke detailing, referencing the elevations of the original Victorian School as well as the nearby Michelin Building. This attention to detail, combined with the key concept of cascading ‘garden terraces’, stepping incrementally across the site from east to west, projects glimpses of green landscaping and warm clay masonry to the surrounding streets, which are typically characterised by tall and unrelenting mansion blocks.

Michelmersh is proud to have been involved with this sympathetic and conscientious design by Dixon Jones which has already received a variety of highly acclaimed architectural accolades. The British manufacturer is confident of this building’s recognition at the 2018 Brick Awards.

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