Highgate School: New Junior School

The New Junior School is an exciting new development for the high-profile Highgate School and involves the demolition of its existing junior school and the construction of a new building occupying a highly visible new location in Highgate. The project aims to deliver a state-of-the-art facility and includes approx 4000 m2 of high-specification performance spaces, design technology laboratories, as well as science, music, drama and art facilities, all based around a central hub and designed to encourage a culture of open and accessible learning.  

The central space helps control the environmental performance of the building by introducing abundant natural light from a glazed roof light into the heart of the plan and providing routes for natural air flow. Within the classrooms, exposed concrete soffits have been co-ordinated with acoustic finishes to provide thermal mass and excellent acoustics. Continuous raft lighting has been carefully integrated with the ceiling finishes, ensuring a cohesive and considered appearance.

Passivhaus principles such as superinsulation, a PV array with 20% renewables and a very airtight design have been employed throughout to provide a building that should prove very cost and energy efficient to operate. Detailed internal climatic calculations and an iterative and collaborative approach to the external façade design were undertaken to give the Client confidence that this naturally ventilated building could provide a comfortable internal environment without cooling.

The project has been designed for a 100-year life in Revit to BIM level 2. Skelly & Couch has undertaken all modelling in-house to deliver a low-risk, complete design solution, easily understood by Client and Contractor. Part of the project, shortlisted for the NLA New London Awards 2013, is the redevelopment of a Victorian villa. A ‘Soft Landings’ process provides support for cutting CO2 emissions in use and connections are in place for a future ground source heat pump.

An AJ100 Building of the Year finalist and winner of a 2017 RIBA London Award. Project of the Year in the 2017 Education Estates Awards and a Regional Finalist in the 2018 Civic Trust Awards.