Marlborough Primary School

Complete 2018
Area UK England
Client The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea
Architect Dixon Jones

The complete reconstruction of the former Victorian era building cleverly maximises the site to provide five tiered levels of classrooms and play spaces around interlocking light wells. Key acoustic issues included noise ingress to the school development via open windows, sound insulation of the walls and floors within the tightly arranged and interlinked layout, and control of reverberation throughout.
The project formed part of a wider regeneration project in

South Kensington, London, that also encompassed redevelopment of the adjacent Clearings warehouses for residential.
The school has been awarded the 2018 RIBA National Award, 2018 RIBA London Award, the Architects Journal School Project of the Year 2018, British Construction Industry Awards 2018 Social Infrastructure Project of the Year, a 2018 New London Architecture Education Commendation and a 2018 Schüco Excellence Award for an Education Building.

Sandy Brown was appointed by Mace Ltd to provide full service acoustic advice for the complete demolition and redevelopment of Marlborough Primary School along with the adjacent new build shell-and-core office building.

The intricate and complex arrangement of rooms in the tiered building placed the main multi-function room on the double-height ground floor with a large light well extending up through the building through noise-sensitive classrooms and learning spaces. These rooms also needed to draw natural light from the light well through glass windows. These windows were enhanced to provide better sound insulation than normally required along with sound absorption being added to the internal surface of the light well to reduce noise transfer.

Each tiered step-back of the building provided for an outdoor play area and activity space including a full MUGA playing field on the roof of the top floor.

Impact sound insulation through the floors of these areas were a key element mitigated by the design. Noise egress from these play areas to the neighbours was also modelled to inform the local council.

The site location is between two reasonably busy roads, yet it was a key design driver for the local council for the building to be naturally ventilated. We undertook several surveys and calculation models to predict the internal noise levels with the windows open.

The project was an interesting public/private venture where the residential developer of the nearby Clearings warehouses agreed to redevelop the aging existing school as well as provide additionally needed office space on the site.