Business news

Gilbert-Ash appointed to deliver new £31million St Paul’s Junior School in West London

Posted By:
Gilbert-Ash Limited

8th Feb 2024

An award-winning construction company has been appointed to deliver a £31million building project at a school which was founded more than 157 years before the Great Fire of London in 1666.

St Paul’s School, which is located on a a 45-acre site adjacent to the River Thames in Barnes, West London, has awarded Gilbert-Ash the contract to construct a new junior school along with playgrounds and associated landscaping works.

The project will consist of two new buildings, Junior School West will be a three-storey building housing a teaching block and changing facilities while Junior School East will be a two-storey facility comprising a teaching block and double height hall.

The Junior School West building forms the central ‘heart’ space of the school. It will provide generous multi-functional exhibition space, surrounded by teaching spaces to encourage high levels of social interaction between pupils and staff. The Junior School East building will be linked to the West building by a covered external play space named ‘The Barn’.

Gilbert-Ash Managing Director, Ray Hutchinson, said the company is delighted to be taking on such a prestigious project and to be teaming up once again with Hawkins/Brown architects.

He said: “St Paul’s School is steeped in history and has been providing first class education for boys for hundreds of years. The project will ensure this legacy continues in Barnes for generations to come.

“Gilbert-Ash has a growing reputation for delivering excellent projects in the education sector, with many of these in partnership with the team at Hawkins/Brown.

“Together we have delivered stand-out projects at both City of London Freemen’s School, Central Foundation Boys’ School and the Bartlett School of Architecture.

“We are looking forward to once again working in collaboration with Hawkins/Brown, St Paul’s School and of course the other teams on this exciting project.”

Targeting a BREEAM rating of excellent, the new buildings will be heated with air source heat pumps with photovoltaic panels on the roof which will also house a green roof system.

External drainage incorporates storm and foul water diversion, porous surface overflow pipework and a rain garden.

Interior fit-out plans include acoustic wall panels and slatted timber acoustic panels and lining, while flooring will vary from engineered hard word flooring, linoleum and carpeted areas.

Soft landscaping will include shrub, herbaceous planting, hedge planting and grassland meadow, in addition to a rain garden. Hard landscaping will include linear concrete block paving, permeable black and coloured tarmac, permeable resin bound aggregate, play bark and a hybrid turf system, in addition to insitu rubber safety surfaces.

School life will continue during the construction period, which is due to complete in autumn 2025, with pupils and staff decanted to temporary accommodation.

The school was founded in 1509 by John Colet, the Dean of St Paul’s. Its governance was entrusted to the fellowship of the Mercers of London, the Premier Guild of the City of London, to act as governors of the new school.

Following the great fire of London in 1666, St Paul’s School moved location four times before settling in 1968 at the present site at Barnes where it provides education for around 1,000 boys from the ages of 4-18 years old.

Its initial renewal campaign was successfully achieved with the redevelopment of on-site buildings between 2011-2019.

In 2014, the construction of the new drama centre and Samuel Pepys Theatre was completed, in addition to a general teaching building, dining hall and library build completed in 2020.

The majority of previous work has been focused on the senior school, with current works seeking to redevelop and provide new facilities for the junior school.

Gilbert-Ash has a unique approach to construction, fit-out and refurbishment based on the belief that great buildings come about through hard work, inspired innovation and genuine collaboration.

To find out more about Gilbert-Ash visit