Westminster City School

Neilcott has recently been awarded this challenging project to expand the existing Westminster City School by 1 Form Entry.  The project involves the demolition of 2 school buildings (Puttick Buildings) at the rear of the school site and erection of a new 3 storey building.  The existing Puttick Building at the rear of the school comprises of two separate buildings: The two storey “religious education” block closest to the primary school building or the Dacre Building, the combined one and half storey arts block and the single storey Gymnasium abutting the existing boundary wall to the St. James’ Court Hotel. These existing buildings are dated and do not offer the school facilities it requires as part of the new 1FE expansion. The new building is to be located at the rear of the Site and will not be readily visible from the public vantage points. Public views of the building will be limited to views from Palace Street through the school date and from Victoria Street and the new Zig Zag building and Westminster Council’s offices.  The increased floor space that this project provides will enable the school to offer a combined Arts building. The new building is a steel framed structure with piled foundations and concrete structural slabs at the ground and upper floors. The new design is predominantly brick clad with some elements of metal cladding and glazing to resonate with the new Zig Zag building and the existing school buildings on site.  A number of constraints exist at within the school site. Firstly, the site is located in central London, near Victoria station. Secondly, vehicular access to the site is restricted to one road, which is approximately 3.4m at its narrowest point.  Thirdly, the demolition and construction will be taking place on the school’s only outdoor recreation and sports space, meaning segregation measures and minimization of site footprint had to be carefully considered. The school will need to use temporary accommodation on the playground during demolition of the existing building and construction of the new building. Fourthly, the site boundaries border two separate hotels to the North East and land owned by TfL to the East in the form of a concrete slab over The District Underground line to the East. As an underground train line runs along the East boundary, a process of TfL approval for design, method statements and works carried out on site have to be adhered to. This had to be reflected in the contract design, developed design, construction methods carried out on site and programme.  WestminsterOne of the biggest reasons that Clients come back to Neilcott time and time again is our reputation for undertaking technically and logistically demanding projects extremely successfully, Neilcott’s Managing Director, Malcolm Elster stated “our reputation for challenging projects will prove invaluable upon this project, I am certain our project team will rise to this challenge”.