Harris Westminster Sixth Form Academy

Set within the historic context of the City of Westminster, 11 Tothill Street, has been architecturally transformed from a Ministry of Justice office building to a state of the art Sixth Form for Harris Westminster.  The Academy is a collaboration between the Harris Federation and Westminster School and caters for able children no matter what their socio-economic background.

The building was designed in 1936 by the respected firm of Sir John Burnett, Tait and Lorne. The original façade, adorned with stone figures of Greek gods, Vulcan, God of Fire, Atlas carrying the world on his shoulders and Hercules stealing the golden Apples of Immortality, has been retained.

Over two phases, a rabbit warren of small offices and tired spaces has been opened up and refurbished to create professional and functional teaching and laboratory spaces.

This is an immensely exciting and important venture - the first partnership to create a Sixth Form College between one of England's leading private schools and one of its leading academy groups. With Westminster School and the Harris Federation as joint sponsors, this Sixth Form is likely to be hugely popular and a brilliant success.
Lord Adonis, Schools Minister (2005 - 2008)


The building's unique position at the heart of Westminster is an inspiration for the students.

The refectory and independent study rooms are purposefully located on the upper floor, providing glimpses of Big Ben.


The awkward existing arrangement of space at the lower levels, with deep floorplates and limited access to daylight, set a challenge that required innovative solutions in order to transform it into an uplifting education environment.

At ground floor level space has been opened up to create the new Library and Hall - the educational heart of the Academy. The retained central 'core' of the building contains the WC Facilities and Passenger Lifts.

The building is enlivened by the incorporation of graphics and colour at each level. The facilities include state of-the-art science labs, a library, and study areas in addition to classrooms, music rooms and an art studio

Our Team

Project Team

  • Client: Harris Federation
  • Project Manager: Mace
  • Mechanical Engineer: MLM
  • Electrical Engineer: Dowds Group
  • Contractor: Farrans
  • Photography: Alan Williams