Cardinal Wiseman Catholic School

The school has changed from being anonymous on Greenford Road to becoming the major civic landmark in this area of Greenford. The changes improve accessibility, security and circulation. Maximising the usability of internal and external spaces the design has created transformational and flexible teaching spaces with strong faculty identity and clear way-finding for years to come.







Cardinal Wiseman Roman Catholic School is a voluntary aided faith school. The total student population has risen from 1800 to 2000 so an improved educational environment that provided for the increased capacity was essential. The project is a refurbishment and part new build Sample Scheme for the Ealing Building Schools for the Future (BSF) Programme.

jmarchitects were the lead designers for this BSF scheme. The school is based on a campus concept, with the proposed scheme involving the refurbishment and remodelling of several existing buildings and the construction of a new 8,300sqm teaching block on the street edge, designed to create a civic presence within its surroundings.

The development of the school has seen the improvement of accessibility, security and circulation. Maximising the usability of internal and external spaces the design will create transformational and flexible teaching spaces for years to come.

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The Challenge

The site was constrained by its size, and the existing school has been developed piecemeal, with an array of separate buildings spread across the site. The somewhat ad-hoc arrangement of these buildings fragmented the external space, creating pinch points, blind spots and underutilised spaces.

The Solution

Our proposal to build a new four storey teaching and learning block on Greenford Road created an opportunity to demolish some of the smaller blocks, thus creating more external space and a more rational layout. The positioning of the new gymnasium and the reuse of the small hall were key design decisions that unlocked the winning layout that reduced the school from 12 buildings to six key buildings. The new layout was developed from the brief and through feedback from the client engagement sessions.

The Outcome

The new school is made up of clearly defined faculties and clusters that simplify way-finding in this large school.The new teaching block provides the school with a clear entrance leading to the other campus buildings and the teaching spaces adopt a regular pattern allowing for flexibility in the future.

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