Hillyfield at the Park is a new 4FE primary school with SEN provision that required the remodelling and extension of an empty, and un-loved 1960s secondary school on the edge of Lloyd Park in Walthamstow, east London. In addition to mainstream spaces, the project provided spaces for children with a variety of learning needs. The project included special sensory rooms; soft play, therapy rooms and SEN classrooms with integrated facilities such as AV and specialist lighting. Our key task was to assess the options for refurbishment, remodelling or new-build (or a hybrid of different forms of development) as well as considering how the school site could be pragmatically laid out. In order to allow the first wave of pupils into the school as early as possible, the project was split into multiple phases that also allowed the challenging budget to be carefully managed.
The school opened its doors to its first pupils in September 2013 and was refurbished for a cost of under £1,000 per square meter including new mechanical and electrical systems, new interior spaces, glazing and thermal upgrades throughout. The first two phases of the project comprised the remodelling and refurbishment of the existing building: converting secondary school sized spaces to be suitable from primary aged children. Phase 3 comprised a new, two-storey extension that plugs into the central circulation hub. Conceived as a cultivated elevation to continue the site’s existing ‘green-corridor’, the extension provides 8 new classrooms with provide open-plan and adaptable teaching areas for Y5 and Y6 pupils. The extension was completed with the funding provided by the Department for Education and Skills (DFES), the Local Authority and the Academy Trust.