Christ Church School, Hampstead

Christ Church Primary School is located in the heart of Hampstead, adjacent to Christ Church, and within the Hampstead Conservation Area. It was opened in 1855 as Christ Church National Schools and consisted of separate boys’ and girls’ schools and school houses for the master and mistress of each. The Schools were designed by William Gilbee and Edward Habershon in the gothic style and the construction of an infant school on the site followed seven years later. The symmetrical building has been extended and the interior considerably altered to respond to changing educational requirements. However, the school was recently identified by the London Borough of Camden as being in need of substantial repair and improvement to meet 21st century educational standards. 

Malcolm Fryer Architects worked closely with Scabal Architects and an integrated design team to develop a feasible masterplan to improve the educational provision as well as the overall health of the school. This involved extensive community and statutory consultation from the outset. The proposals provided valuable additional teaching spaces as well as a new hall and catering facility. Level access will be provided to the school, along with a clear new circulation system. MFA provided details and specifications for the key interventions to the historic fabric and scheduled extensive repairs. Proposals for improvements in energy efficiency required very careful consideration of the existing fabric.

A Heritage Statement was also prepared by Malcolm Fryer Architects to support the Planning and Listed Building applications for the refurbishment. In accordance with statutory guidance, this report incorporated a Conservation Statement, which summarised the significance of the Heritage Asset, as well as a Heritage Impact Assessment, which assessed the impact of the substantial proposals on the character and setting of the listed building. These documents proved an important tool in developing a close working relationship with the local planning authority (Camden) and English Heritage, as well as in negotiating elements of design detail.

Project Profile available for print and download here