Thames Christian School & Battersea Chapel London 2017–2022

Sited next to Clapham Junction railway station in south London, this project brings together the Battersea Chapel Baptist Church and Thames Christian School, an independent coeducational secondary school, under one roof. The new 6-storey 5,000m2 building provides the church with a new community hall and sanctuary, and allows the school to expand to 400 pupils, of which nearly half are on the special educational needs register, whilst enabling the regeneration of the Winstanley Estate.

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    The Chapel and School share a rectilinear, two-storey plinth that gives the building a civic base
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    The Chapel’s cross, salvaged from its former building, gives the community a familiar symbol
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    The building is bound by railway tracks, residential streets, and is overlooked by 11-storey point blocks and 5-storey terraces
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    Plan of the ground floor in context
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    Plaster cast study of the building’s façade composition
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    The building’s unfamiliar scale, form and façade composition establish a civic presence for the Chapel and the School
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    The building is both part of and apart from its context
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    The School’s elevated playgrounds manifest as large voids in the façade
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    The material palette of cream brickwork and grey precast harmonises with the neutral tones of the surrounding streets
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    The retained mature trees provide natural shade to the façade
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    Ground floor plan
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    Model of the Chapel
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    The Chapel’s congregation gather in the hall and sanctuary, which can be combined into a larger space for baptisms and other big events
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    The school hall facilitates performance, dining, physical education and assembly, and is shared with the community for use outside of school hours
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    The proscenium to the school hall and the bi-folding screen allows these spaces to function independently as teaching spaces and together as a performance space
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    The School's classrooms site atop a civic plinth of assembly hall and Chapel
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    The School's upper floors are planned around east and west-facing courtyards that become worlds in microcosm
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    Cross section
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    First floor plan
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    The School's courtyards incorporate gallery circulation that shades classrooms, allowing them to be day-lit and naturally ventilated
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    Long section
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    Fourth floor plan
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    A comfortable learning environment without relying on mechanical cooling
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    Specialist teaching spaces are dispersed among general classrooms, bringing students into contact with the school’s diverse curriculum
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    The building creates a sanctuary for its pupils, with classrooms elevated above ground in a four-storey S-shaped plan


  • Area: 5175m2
  • Budget: £25m
  • Client: Winstanley & York Road LLP
  • Masterplanning: HTA
  • Structural Engineer: Pell Frischman
  • Services Engineer: Desco
  • Quantity Surveyor: Martin Arnold
  • Planning Consultant: Montagu Evans
  • Landscape Architect: Farrer Huxley Associates
  • Acoustic Engineer: AF Acoustics
  • Building Control: MLM
  • Project Manager: Taylor Wimpey
  • Executive Architect: HLM Architects
  • Main Contractor: Midguard



  • RIBA Regional Award, (Winner) 2024
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