Elm Court SEN School, Lambeth

Elm Court School provides an education facility for up to 100 students with various statements of Special Educational Needs. Involving the refurbishment and remodelling of an Edwardian school building within a conservation area to provide modern facilities for pupils, this project has been used as an exemplar by English Heritage.




Lambeth Council BSF



Elmcourt School is a 100-place secondary school for students aged 11-16 with a range of complex needs such as Moderate Learning Difficulty (MLD), Emotional Behavioural Disorder (EBD), Aspergers and Autism.

Following the success of our initial consultation work with a variety of stakeholders considering a number of sites and existing buildings, we were appointed by Lambeth Council.

The building won BSCE Industry Award “Best Extended & Remodelled School” in 2010 and “Excellence in BSF – Best Design for Remodelled School” in 2009.

Project gallery

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The Challenge

Structural challenges included raising internal floor levels to optimise space and remove split levels in parts of the building, the creation of an atrium with an ETFE roof at its heart and the provision of a new external glass stair tower.

The Solution

The rear of the site was redeveloped to provide a new gymnasium and arts and technology wing, grouped around a large atrium that doubles as a retaining structure to deal with the ground levels. Reinforced concrete retaining walls and pre-cast concrete floors on a steel frame were used to maximise the thermal mass for the servicing strategy.

The Outcome

The result is a stunning partnership between old and new which means Elm Court School now has enhanced space, bright airy classrooms and an energy efficient air handling system. It is attended by more than 100 students, who also benefit from two new buildings for sport, music and drama.

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