This new facility for Latymer Upper School is one of a series of buildings by vHH for the school. The scale of the buildings on Rivercourt Road, from the Great West Road northwards towards King Street, rises gradually. This site is opposite the tallest building on the street, the Rivercourt Road Methodist Church, (18m to the ridge line). The new building is of a scale and language that responds to these larger buildings, relating to the buildings on King Street while creating a significant new landmark for the school. It forms the eastern boundary of the enlarged central square which has the new music school to the south, and the main building to the east. Most importantly it allowed the school to build a four-storey building in a single phase, thus causing minimal disruption to the running.
Despite our long association with Latymer we had to compete for this project. We demonstrated that the school could get a new building of the size required without demolishing the existing facilities, so there was no need for costly temporary science accommodation during construction. The new building forms the eastern boundary of the square at the heart of our master plan and provides a significant new landmark for the school. The library, on the ground floor, has full-height glazing connecting it to the square. The entrance to the building is alongside the Lower School; the two buildings are connected via links at upper and ground levels. The laboratories, arranged around a central atrium, are designed to be as flexible as possible, and all are naturally ventilated.