Quiet transformation for iconic Boys’ School

Transformative redevelopment at Central Foundation Boys’ School in London.

Troldtekt acoustic ceilings are the natural choice when wanting to ensure superior acoustics and a healthy indoor climate in schools and educational institutions

Architects Hawkins Brown has completed a transformative redevelopment at the Central Foundation Boys’ School, the 150-year-old top performing comprehensive school in central London. Over the course of its long history, the school has developed and expanded resulting in a disparate collection of buildings that were under-utilised and not fit for purpose.

Hawkins Brown was appointed to rationalise and consolidate the school’s several buildings into a cohesive design to allow more efficient use of the campus. The less sustainable buildings were replaced with new specialist teaching facilities taking their place. In addition, new works included providing a new, purpose-built science building equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and the existing Tabernacle Chapel was re-purposed to develop a Creative Arts Centre.

A new three-court, multi-use semi-subterranean sports hall with changing facilities was also built. The tight nature of the site meant that the sports hall was sunken under the courtyard with rooflights bringing in natural light. It was designed to comply with Sport England guidance, providing the school with a flexible multi-purpose space that can also be used for out-of-hours community activity.

This large project, comprising over 13,000 mof upgrades took place over a decade-long partnership with the school which remained open throughout the works constructed in two phases. Working around a number of buildings which had listed status provided challenges but the result is a careful blend of the historic and the new providing future-proof design within the fabric of historic buildings.

To help combat the problems of poor acoustics and sound reverberation in the sports hall, music and drama rooms, Troldtekt acoustic panels were specified across all the ceilings. Panels were chosen in both grey and natural finishes to provide a discreet look whilst complementing the interior design. Troldtekt solutions excel at providing acoustic comfort with a visually attractive, aesthetic tactile surface along with high durability and low-cost lifecycle performance.

The building won a prestigious National Civic Trust Award for 2024 with the judges commenting, “This is a high-quality scheme which really ticks all the boxes. The seamless integration of new and existing structures, coupled with a focus on accessibility and urban enhancement, makes this school redevelopment a model for revitalising educational spaces in a holistic and community-centric manner.”