Roman Road Primary School, Newham, London, achieves planning permission

Maccreanor Lavington has secured planning permission for the expansion of the Roman Road Primary School, an existing one form entry (1FE) school to a fully integrated, high-quality, three form entry (3FE) school and new facility for two year olds, in East Ham, in the London Borough of Newham.

Maccreanor Lavington has successfully minimised the development footprint and retained the green open character of the school, despite needing to expand the school to cater for three times the number of pupils.

The smart design combines new build elements including a hall and entrance block, two-storey wing and new Reception classrooms and Library, with the adaptation and reuse of the existing building to form a single cohesive new school. Carefully detailed, canopies tie together the new and existing buildings while providing space for covered access and play.

The design of the new building fronting onto Roman Road responds to the need to create a new public-facing ‘identity’ for the school, with a shared entrance through which all pupils and visitors arrive. This inviting new entrance and forecourt, with the new enhanced facilities on site, seeks to draw in the wider community to engage with the school for extended out-of-hours uses.

Throughout the newly expanded school each year group is co-located to promote a sense of smaller scale home bases and to enable shared resources such as break-out spaces and small group rooms, known to strengthen creative learning and to ease the transition of pupils between year groups.

Maccreanor Lavington worked closely with the school to develop the design brief and held a number of consultation events with teachers, parents and governors, including workshops with pupils, to fully understand the user’s priorities.

The building and landscape designs are complementary, with an increase in diversity of outside learning areas and usable play space, planting and biodiversity. Landscaped courtyards will be used by children of different age groups, creating both defined, and for the youngest children, protected spaces for play.

The massing, detailing and materials respond carefully to the context of the immediate surroundings and existing building. Light facing brickwork provides a good quality, long lasting and low maintenance façade, coupled with simple, crisp detailing and generously proportioned, deeply recessed openings to maximise daylight and ventilation.

Maccreanor Lavington will enable the existing school to remain in use throughout the construction works by using prefabricated cross-laminated timber panels that reduce the site period and minimise noise and disruption.

A fully accessible, inclusive and sustainable design, it is targeting BREEAM Very Good. It is due to start on site in January 2014.

Ann Griffin, Maccreanor Lavington:

“We are pleased that the planners commended our design as raising the bar for school design in LB Newham and achieving design excellence. They recognised the great sense of care invested in school placemaking, and how we managed to successfully tackle the difficult issues of integrating existing and new, beautifully well.”

Project Team:

  • Client: London Borough of Newham
  • Contractor: Neilcott Construction Ltd
  • Architect and Landscape Architect: Maccreanor Lavington
  • Structural and Civil Engineer: MLM
  • M&E and Environmental Engineer: Con-Serv Ltd
  • Transport Consultant: Peter Brett Associates
  • Arboricultural Consultant: Arboricultural Solutions
  • Ecology Appraisal=: Biodiversity by Design
  • Archeology: Compass Archeology
  • BREEAM Consultant: Stroma
  • CDM Coordinator: Stace LLP
  • Surface Water Flood Risk: Capita Symonds
  • Acoustic Consultant: 24 Acoustics
  • Geotechnical Appraisal: Site Analytical Services