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Masterplan approved for top girls’ school

John McAslan + Partners (JMP), with landscape architect Robert Myers Associates, has been awarded planning permission for the remodelling of buildings and grounds at St Paul’s Girls School, west London.

The school was built in 1904 to designs by arts and crafts architect Gerald Callcott Horsely, and has added a number of buildings over the past 110 years. The new masterplan will rationalise the site, enhancing the historic grade II-listed buildings while creating new facilities for the 21st century.

A new building, by JMP, in an underused space at the southern end of the site, will house the sixth form alongside the history and geography departments, while some existing buildings will be reconfigured.

Landscape design by Robert Myers Associates will be organised around a central lawn, on the sunniest part of the site, which can be used as a social or performance space. This will be framed, on one side, by a series of yew-hedged garden rooms, and on the other by plant beds with low stone walls. The garden rooms will have timber seating and a sculptural steel pergola, making them suitable for quiet contemplation and group study.

Paths from the new building to the existing science block will be gently ramped, creating edges for sitting. Also proposed are a new cafe terrace and two internal courtyards, integrated into the design of the new building.

This will be the third and largest project Robert Myers has undertaken for the school. New sports pitches have been designed in house by JMP.

Work will begin this April with the construction of a new sports pavilion.

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