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First look images of Parliament Hill and William Ellis Schools redevelopment plans

PUBLISHED: 08:00 09 November 2014

An artist's impression of how the new Parliament Hill School building will look. Picture: ASTUDIO Ltd

An artist's impression of how the new Parliament Hill School building will look. Picture: ASTUDIO Ltd

Archant

Close-up designs of plans to bring two of Camden’s secondary schools “into the 21st century” have been released for the first time.

An artist's impression of how the new Parliament Hill School building will look. Picture: ASTUDIO LtdAn artist's impression of how the new Parliament Hill School building will look. Picture: ASTUDIO Ltd

Artist’s impressions unveiled last week reveal how neighbouring schools Parliament Hill and William Ellis will look after a proposed £22million redevelopment.

A curved teaching block would replace decaying 1950s buildings at all-girls Parliament Hill to provide a large number of new classrooms, including a fitness studio and a lecture hall.

A two-storey red-brick extension at William Ellis would free up space for food technology and music classrooms, while students at La Swap sixth-form consortium would for the first time get their own dedicated study space in front of Parliament Hill, in Highgate Road.

Lead architect Claire Robertson, associate at Astudio Ltd, told the Ham&High: “The old buildings are not in great condition, there is a problem with overheating in the winter.

An artist's impression of how the new Parliament Hill School building will look from Hampstead Heath. Picture: ASTUDIO LtdAn artist's impression of how the new Parliament Hill School building will look from Hampstead Heath. Picture: ASTUDIO Ltd

She went on to explain: “We are creating an environment and spaces that are much better to work in and don’t overheat, giving them spaces to concentrate as well as creating a variety of teaching spaces”

Nine science laboratories, an activity hall, and 27 classrooms, including three larger spaces designed for class assemblies and group work, would be created under the plans at Parliament Hill, where £19million will be poured into its redevelopment.

At William Ellis, a canopy would provide a covered outside dining and social space for students to make maximum use of the school’s site.

A dedicated base for La Swap would give pupils a communal common room with a university-style cafe as well as much-needed seminar and administration rooms under the ambitious proposals.

Camden Council’s cabinet member for children Cllr Angela Mason said: “I think the plans will provide first-class educational facilities for our Camden students.”

She added: “The scheme will bring both schools into the 21st century and provide the facilities for the students that they deserve.”

Parliament Hill School would be built to Passivhaus standards, making it the first in Camden to built to the high-level energy performance standard.

Ms Robertson said: “We’re really making sure it’s comfortable and we give kids somewhere good to concentrate and learn.”

The redevelopment is being funded through Camden Council’s community investment programme, a 15-year project to invest in schools, homes and community buildings.

Designs have been altered since a bird’s eye view of initial plans was first released in January to try and address concerns about views of the school from Hampstead Heath and fears that residents living in Lissenden Gardens will be overlooked.

Cllr Mason said: “We have been careful not to compromise the views from the Heath and indeed to ensure that the very fine [Edwardian] building is more clearly visible from Highgate Road.

“I am sure lots of detailed comments will have to be taken on board.”


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