We recently became Friends of Blackheath Halls and were delighted at what was on offer, particularly from the Architecture Group. We decided to join a tour of Bow School by James McCosh the project architect from Van Heyningan & Haward Architects.
After a clear introduction to the project, how it came about and points of interest about the design and the construction, we were given an in depth tour of the building (which even included getting stuck in a lift – an opportunity to experience the capabilities of the school’s maintenance team? – I am not sure if they lay this on for all architecture tours).
The building incorporates two large atria providing the school with central focus points and organisational cores with visually engaging yellow clad concrete staircases.
The concrete structural wall system preferred by Bouygues, the main contractor, was left exposed, ostensibly for cost reasons, which along with the exposed electric and tele-communication cabling provided a robust aesthetic. However the honesty and clarity of these moves felt totally appropriate for an education establishment.
James explained that this project benefited from an informed client, and that this, along with a design team and contractor, each bringing their individual expertise to the table, were able to work towards a shared vision. This collaborative approach appears to have paid dividends with this highly successful building.
In summary, a great school, and a great place to learn to become a member of society and a great afternoon for us. Huge thanks to the Friends of Blackheath Halls Architecture Group, James McCosh of Van Heyningan & Haward Architects and staff at Bow School.