Golden Lane Campus

Islington, London

The Campus brought together Prior Weston Primary School, Fortune Park Surestart Children's Centre for birth to six year olds, and Richard Cloudesley School for children with profound and multiple learning disabilities.

Lying on a former burial ground between the Barbican Arts Centre, the Golden Lane estate and Fortune Street Park, the site has a strong planning and archaeological legacy in an area of clear physical and social diversity. The design sets out to create a sense of connection and accessibility for all the various groups and users of the building, whilst offering protected and secure environments for those who need them.

Golden Lane is a triumph of three-dimensional spatial dexterity, and it joins a select group that sets a benchmark for the rebuilding of our schools
Julia Barfield, Architecture Today

Urban site

Inserting a school into a densely populated urban site required a simple, legible design. The ground floor fills the site, with a playful deck surrounding three sculpted pods of teaching spaces. Green roofs hide plant and servicing spaces, becoming the fourth elevation to the towers of the Barbican looking down on the site. In keeping with the Barbican's podium the elevated play deck provides access to outside space for all first floor class bases.

From a special school perspective we think we have the ideal design that suits the children’s emotional, social and educational needs. Hats off to the architect who took a difficult brief and turned it into an all-round success.
Anne Corbett, Headteacher Richard Cloudesley School

Special educational needs

It was essential to create an inclusive environment, welcoming and inspiring for all. Key shared school spaces are arranged along a ‘street’ which meets at the central hub of the school, helping users to understand where they are in the building and encouraging interaction of users.

Collaborative engagement

Amalgamating three schools on one site required extensive collaboration. We worked closely with the head teachers, teachers and governors as well as the local community to shape the environment to create a campus all can be proud of and that supports effective learning.

Our Team

  • Paul Baxter
  • Jayne Bird
  • Emanuel Czernik
  • Lawrence Edgell
  • Anna Hesketh
  • John Jeffery
  • Sarah Jones
  • Nicholas Langstaff
  • Andrew Mulroy

Project Team

  • Client: London Borough of Islington
  • Cost Planning: Currie & Brown
  • Structural Engineer: Price & Myers
  • Services Engineer: Hoare Lea
  • Landscape Architect: Farrer Huxley Associates
  • Acoustician: Hoare Lea
  • Accessibility Consultant: Access = Design
  • Fire Engineer: Bodycote Warrington Fire
  • CDM Coordinator: AECOM
  • Contractor: Wilmott Dixon
  • Photographer: Peter Durrant


  • Winner: BCSE Award for Most Inspiring Design
  • Winner: BCSE Award for Best School Achitect
  • Commendation: BCSE Awards for Best Client Team