St. Monica’s Hoxton London 2001–2004

This Grade II listed ex-London Board School, designed by the Gothic Revival architect E. W. Pugin, has been conserved and extended to house the Hoxton Apprentice restaurant and training facilities, offices, a gym and two apartments.

‘The garden […] here shows a thoughtfulness which goes far beyond native intelligence and begins to show devilish ingenuity’ Robert Maxwell, 2005

Image 1

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    On the roof, a single-storey star-shaped structure accommodates a new penthouse apartment. Its mirror-glazed elevations reflect the surrounding roofscape
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    For a building of this era, the façade to Hoxton Square is uniquely flat and rectangular. The ground floor classroom windows have been replaced with doors to serve the restaurant
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    The existing long section reveals the unusual scale of this 3-storey building with its 5m storey heights
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    Long section following adaptation shows the three primary interventions - playground extension to house the gymnasium, mezzanines within the classrooms and the penthouse
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    A sequence of four hallways step deep into the plan, leading ultimately to a new lift. The third is a red timber panelled room overlooking a garden
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    The green mirror glass walls that line this new and strangely shaped garden accentuate the green hue of the ferns, especially when seen from the red timber panelled hall
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    Aerial view of the mirror-lined courtyard garden
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    Ground floor plan - the original entrances are reconfigured to accommodate the many different organisations and individuals that share the building
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    A range of timber shutters in the wall…
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    ...and skylights naturally ventilate the Douglas fir ply-lined gymnasium interior
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    The roof and rear wall of the gymnasium have been treated as one continuous timber surface. The roof is punctuated by flush but operable skylights
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    Inside each original whitewashed brick-lined classroom, the design introduces a stressed-ply timber-clad mezzanine (and stair). The matchboard detail provides a wearing surface appropriate to the age of the building


  • Appointment: 2001
  • Construction start: 2002
  • Completion: 2004
  • Area: 1,489m2
  • Budget: £1.5m
  • Form of contract: Traditional
  • Client: Capital & Provident Regeneration; Shoreditch Trust NDC; Training for Life & The Corporation of London
  • Contractor: Durkan Pudelek
  • Services Engineer: Hannan Associates
  • Structural Engineer: Peter Dann & Partners
  • Quantity Surveyor: KHK Group
  • Landscape Architect: Whitelaw Turkington
  • Graphic Designer: Pat O’Leary


  • Robert Maxwell, ‘After-life of a modest building: School conversion at Hoxton Square, London, by Buschow Henley’, in: True Principles. The Journal of the Pugin Society, vol.3, issue 2 (2005), pp.64–66
  • Rosamund Diamond, ‘Hidden Treasure: Buschow Henley in Hoxton’, in: Architecture Today (February 2005), pp.20–27
  • ‘E W Pugins Historic Hoxton Square Update’, in: Church Building (November 2004), pp.66–67
  • Jay Merrick, ‘Too Cool for School’, in: The Independent (27 October 2004), pp.12–13
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