St Paul's School Science Building

Barnes, London

The development of the masterplan and new buildings for the school’s landmark site by the Thames reached a significant milestone with the completion of the flagship Science Building. The four-storey building redefines the school, establishing a gateway into the campus and a new welcoming courtyard. 18 state-of-the-art laboratories on upper floors replace the existing science department, which academically is one of the best in the country.

We are delighted. From briefing to handover, it has been a pleasure to work with the team on this exemplary project.
Hugh Muirhead, Project Director, St Paul’s School 

Delight in Construction

A palette of high quality, durable materials has been used. Handset British sandstone and buff coloured brickwork are juxtaposed with large areas of glazing, bronze anodised aluminium windows and rainscreen cladding. Precast concrete is used to form circular columns and an undulating vaulted soffit to the courtyard colonnade. Brickwork is built without movement joints using lime mortar, and is massive in its construction: piers provide 450mm deep window reveals, and flat brick arches above are traditionally constructed using 50mm bricks.

The palette and detailing give a real feeling of quality and ageless design, creating a robust legacy for future generations.
Civic Trust Awards
The building transforms the heart of the school. Completed over 18 months, on time and on budget, without disruption to the day-to-day life of the school.
St Paul’s School


Maximising daylight and minimising mechanical ventilation and cooling has been a priority. Deep window reveals and solar shading louvres minimise unwanted solar gains, with generous glazing that minimizes the use of artificial lighting. The building's concrete frame is left exposed to provide thermal mass. A bespoke biodiverse brown roof provides new species habitats and attenuates rainwater run-off, contributing to the sustainable drainage strategy. The building was designed within the overall environmental strategy of the masterplan, and included modelling assessments that informed adaptations for future climate change.

A building of great precision and care, the mature work of an architect who knows his craft well.
RIBA Awards
It has been a real pleasure to see how the school community – boys, staff, parents and governors – have responded to the new science building. We have felt privileged to have been provided with such an amazing facility and it is a great testament to the architects that their vision is both so inspiring to work in and to look at.
Ken Zetie, Head of Science, St Paul’s School

Our Team

Project Team

  • Client: St Paul's School
  • Project Management: Gardiner & Theobald
  • Cost Planning: Arcadis
  • Structural & Service Engineer: Arup
  • Landscape Architect: Grant Associates
  • Sustainability Consultant: Arup
  • Acoustician: Arup
  • Fire Engineer: Arup
  • Contractor: Mace
  • Planning Consultant: Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners
  • Photography: Alan Williams photography


  • Winner: RIBA London Award
  • Winner: Civic Trust Awards
  • Highly Commended: Natural Stone Awards
  • Highly Commended: RICS London Design Through Innovation
  • Commendation: Concrete Society Awards