City & Guilds of London Art School Phase 1
This client is a venerable tertiary education provider, established in the years after the Great Exhibition as part of a push to use art and design to raise standards in manufacturing. Today it is independent from government, is a not-for-profit charity and awards degrees and diplomas in fine art, stone and wood historic carving, conservation and foundation studies. The Art School has occupied its historic site in Kennington since 1874. We began our work nearly 10 years ago, with a blue-sky-thinking appraisal of the school’s options – including that of leaving the valuable site and establishing elsewhere. This was followed by a masterplan, prepared in detail to enable sensitive listed building consents to be obtained, and as a solid basis for capital project fundraising. Proposals of the site were structured into three phases. Phase one is complete – a six-year-long programme of work using only the summer holiday periods for construction. This concerned the renovation of six listed Georgian houses facing Kennington Park Road. Circulation and DDA compliance has been radically improved, space usage is much more efficient, heating and lighting is economical. Interventions are honest and robust, able to withstand the rough and tumble world of art practice and education over the decades ahead, and donors’ contributions have been carefully spent.