Cottrell & Vermeulen Architecture is an award winning RIBA Chartered Practice with more than two decades of design experience.

Planning consent granted for primary school in Peckham Rye

16 April 2015

Cottrell and Vermeulen Architecture has won planning consent for a new built school, nursery and play spaces for Bellenden Primary School in Peckham Rye, London. The project will start on site in August, and is due to open in 2017.

Upon completion, Bellenden Primary School will relocate from its existing run down facilities nearby to Cottrell and Vermeulen’s new building on the site of a disused care home. As well as offering up to date teaching, play and community spaces, the new building will cater for rising pupil numbers, allowing expansion from one form entry to two form entry.

The new school will occupy an island site surrounded predominantly by Victorian terraced streets. The building wraps around the perimeter, providing both security and a clear street presence. Where it sits close to the neighbouring terraces the perimeter wall has a quiet, sedate form – in contrast to the entrance elevation which is a livelier composition, with areas of glazing and colour used to enliven the street and encourage its use as a pedestrian route.

A single storey ring of classrooms and other teaching spaces hugs the perimeter wall and faces inwards to provide privacy, before rising to two storeys closer to the centre of the site. A key feature is the school’s dark tiled roof, whose materials reference the surrounding terraces, and whose contrasting form slopes down to form facades. All classrooms have direct access to a diverse range of outdoor play and education spaces, with the large central courtyard – shielded on all sides – offering pupils a particularly colourful and expressive internal world.

Bellenden Primary School is an important centre for the local community, and its new building will offer upgraded community facilities. The main hall and a smaller space will be shared with the school, while the location of the dining area, café and kitchen at the front of the site allows these to operate independently and securely from the school if required.