Halcyon London International School
This was a multi-facetted, fast-moving and absorbing commission for a start-up private international school. We began by appraising a potential building, Leo Baeck College at West London Synagogue, near Marble Arch. This lead to advising on lease conditions and brief formulation. We began work by refurbishing an old part of WLS for their re-occupation, then undertook a full renovation and conversion of Leo Baeck College to accommodate Halcyon School. We concluded by renovating the shared entrance hall and circulation spaces. Leo Baeck was designed in the early 1960’s by Julian Sofaer – a highly principled modernist with the especially rare distinction of being the living architect of a listed building. Our renovation follows the design language of his original in its rationality, simplicity, honesty and clarity. The classrooms, science lab, ICT hub and art studio are flexible, quiet and calm. We introduced full cooling, fresh air, IT, low-energy lighting and acoustic systems, and restored the external facades, including replacing all windows. All of this took only nine months’ and was completed on budget – a testament to the school’s founder trustees and WLS’s management.