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Marlborough Primary School: Made in Chelsea

Parker Direct Sales supply products for new Marlborough School

The controversial new Marlborough Primary School project, which saw the demolition of the original building on Draycott Place – constructed in 1877 – is now complete and seems to be winning over the doubters, and most certainly the current intake of students.

The new school is larger than old one and provides 5,668sq m of space including new halls, studio space, classrooms and a biodiversity roof. It forms part of a wider regeneration masterplan by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea to provide a new two form entry primary school in the heart of Chelsea.

Direct Sales have supplied in excess of 3,000m2 of Lignacite concrete block and specially bespoke made Keystone IG brick clad arches for this prestigious project.

Above: The new Marlborough school successfully blends modern design with the traditional architecture of the locality

Below: Among the key features of the new building are the IG Brick Slip Feature Lintels, where brick slips are bonded together onto an IG steel lintel


The redevelopment of the Marlborough site addresses a challenging design brief. In addition to creating a primary school much larger than the original Victorian building, the brief also called for a separate commercial building – including office and retail accommodation – and a new pedestrian link to be provided on this dense urban site.

The school takes on a more expressive civic role with a richer variety in materials and detailing which reference the elevations of the original Victorian School as well as the nearby Michelin Building. The landscaped terraces present an unexpected generosity to the surrounding streets which are characterised by tall and unrelenting mansion blocks.

Teaching accommodation is arranged vertically across this tiered section to establish a strong sense of progression through the school.

Direct connections between internal and external learning areas are provided at each level supporting a diverse range of teaching, play and social areas. External play spaces are also larger than the old school and include a Multi-Use Games Area on the top level.

The general teaching and administration areas are arranged around the perimeter of the plan to exploit natural ventilation and daylighting where possible. These cellular rooms wrap the generous communal hall and circulation spaces at the heart of the building which are illuminated by two central lightwells.

The school and commercial building are proposed in contrasting materials to present distinct identities to the street.



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