Phase 2

PHASE 2 (2015-2016)

An extremely generous pledge from the Hamish Parker Charitable Trust allowed a seamless progression to Phase 2: the creation of a new entrance for the Art School, and a striking covered atrium space between the Georgian terrace and the studio buildings. The works were delivered in two stages. The first, comprising all works at ground level, was completed during the summer break of 2015. This was followed by the installation of the new roof structure, street and garden elevations in 2016 with the new entrance opening to students, staff and visitors in January 2017.

The project transformed the arrival at the Art School and created DDA compliant, step free access route from street level off Cleaver Square into the main studios and via a ramp to the Georgian buildings at basement level. From there a lift now provides access to all ground and first floor studios, the Art School office and the Sackler Library. The new atrium has brought into use an underutilised space, doing full justice to the architectural quality of the Grade 2 listed Georgian terrace buildings seen from the rear.

In Summer 2017 further work took place in the garden area immediately adjacent to the new entrance, creating much increased outdoor terrace outside the Art School canteen and level access to the rear Stoneyard Area.

The project was also supported by grants from the Linbury Trust, HB Allen Charitable Trust, Monument Trust and Band Trust.


The Art School is in the process of reviewing the final stages of the 2008 Masterplan. This will see the re-development of the purpose built studio building at the rear of the site, including the Stoneyard area, and involve the creation of additional north-lit studio spaces, expanded workshops and communal facilities such as a large canteen, gallery and lecture space.



Phase 1, the renovation of the Art School row of six Grade 2 listed Georgian terrace buildings on Kennington Park Road, was completed in 2014 after five consecutive summers of work.

Through Phase 1 we were able to refurbish and enlarge 35 studios; carry out a full upgrade of the Conservation Department; create the expanded Sackler Library, new seminar and meeting rooms, and install new lighting and centralised heating throughout. The works also improved circulation between buildings (which in 2010 where all separate houses) from basement to second floor, and allowed for the relocation of academic and administrative offices, IT room and wood workshop.

Phase 1 was made possible thanks to the generosity of a large number of benefactors, some funding successive years of work, with a total of £2.2 million raised. Click here to see their names. We are also grateful to our team led by Alan Higgs Architects, with Mode PD as contractors and Mitchell Price as cost consultant and project manager, for delivering the project on time and on budget each year.



Another important development connected to Phase 1 took place in 2012 with the relocation of the Foundation Department to the Old Vauxhall Telephone Exchange, a disused 1930s building adjacent to the Art School. The opportunity to secure a lease of one floor from BT, for a period of 10 years, was supported by the Duchy of Cornwall as freeholder of the building. In summer 2012, this large space of 6,000 square feet was turned into flexible, multipurpose studios with workshop facilities and a lecture space, transforming the quality of facilities for the Foundation Department.

In 2007, the Art School embarked on a strategic options review for its future development, addressing in particular its need for enhanced facilities. Steady growth in student numbers and a backlog of repair and maintenance work necessitated a holistic appraisal of the School’s requirements in terms of space provision. This resulted in the decision to commit to the Kennington site which the School has occupied since 1879.

Alan Higgs Architects were subsequently commissioned to design a Masterplan for the site. The Art School’s Trustees then decided to proceed with the plan’s delivery in distinct, stand-alone phases:

  • Phase 1: the refurbishment of the Grade II listed Georgian terrace buildings on Kennington Park Road;
  • Phase 2: the creation of a new, barrier free entrance to the Art School, with the installation of a covered atrium which creates a new utilisable space at the heart of the site;
  • Phase 3: the re-development of the rear studio block, creating a new floor of studio spaces, and additional areas for workshop and communal facilities.

Having completed Phase 1 and with Phase 2 well on the way, the Art School will review the final stages of the Mastreplan, to update it and start planning for the final Phase of the project.



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