Plashet School is a comprehensive girls’ school in East Ham in the London Borough of Newham. The school is spread across two sites, connected by an enclosed bridge over a busy road. Piecemeal development over the years resulted in an incoherent mix of buildings and poor outdoor spaces. To provide improved resources for pupils aged 11 to 16, and support the school’s ‘outstanding’ Ofsted status, Walters & Cohen was approached to design a new building on the larger south site.
The brief was for a multi-purpose development to replace several disparate buildings no longer fit for purpose. We carried out a feasibility study and the resulting proposal centres around two key design concepts: firstly to maximise external space and create strong circulation links through the site and with existing buildings, and secondly to separate pedestrian and vehicular access to create a safe environment for the pupils.
By remodelling ground floor circulation, the proposed development creates a welcoming student entrance and opens up a supervised, outdoor ‘heart’ space for the pupils to enjoy their breaks. The building accommodates a new dining hall and kitchen, a new four-court sports hall and changing facilities, two English classrooms, one IT classroom, two music classrooms, five music practice rooms and two drama studios.
Our design received planning permission in June 2015, after which the project continued under a D&B contract.