NewsAJ Retrofit Awards 2022 Winner
The judges said: "This change of use project has created a wonderful space. An interesting scheme, it does everything that the awards criteria asks for. The true definition of a retrofit and a remarkable achievement for all involved!"
This considered office to school conversion has created a learning environment that greatly benefits the expanding Snowflake School to accomplish their long-term goals and thrive within the local area, providing award-wining specialist care to the community. We have received direct feedback from parents and staff expressing how the project has positively impacted the students. Since a new build would have required a suitable empty plot, this felt impossible for this inner-city SEN school and so retrofitting an existing building was an understandable requirement in the brief.
Starting life as a purpose-built construction for the Salvation Army in Acton, West London, the building was last converted in the 1990s to create an open-plan animation studio, a welcoming previous building use for a school. The conversion developed a very distinctive character – late twentieth century steelwork forming mezzanine levels at either end of the Victorian brick walled and timber herringbone-floored hall. Patalab’s design for the retrofit added a further layer to this composition. The space has been reconfigured to create staff rooms on the upper floors, new classrooms directly below with a retained double height space at the centre forming a communal use as the school’s assembly hall. The lower ground floor, which was originally built as a secondary hall, was also converted to learning and ancillary spaces.
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