Baylis Old School
Henley Homes
 
 
A bespoke reinvention of a Grade II listed former school campus
By respecting the old school's charisma and charm, we have converted the space into a new set of homes with a unique identity and presence.
Photography by Richard John Seymour and Edmund Sumner
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The Lilian Baylis School in Lambeth was named in honour of the theatre producer Lilian Mary Baylis, who once ran The Old Vic and Sadler’s Wells. It was designed in the 1960s by ACP Architects and following the later relocation of the school, was released to the developer Henley Homes.

Conran and Partners was invited to reinvent the old campus based on a sustainable vision. Our ambition was to preserve and reuse the existing spaces, building on the unique identity of the expressed concrete structure, expansive brickwork and generous runs of glazing with linked blocks, while adding some subtle new extensions to create 149 homes.
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The existing classroom blocks were converted into apartments with the generous original windows retained and restored to flood the living spaces with natural daylight.

The apartments within the old classrooms and library look over a series of asymmetrical garden squares and communal courtyards, which include planting and water features.

These help define the special character of the project as a whole, while enhancing the experiential quality of daily living at the Baylis Old School, along with integrated play areas for families.
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As well as the more modest extensions, the site also offered sufficient space to create some substantial new additions, with a combination of brick-faced townhouses and apartments in a U-shaped formation connecting with both the surrounding streetscape and broader neighbourhood, as well as providing additional communal gardens to the rear.
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Within the conversion, nothing is standard or repeatable, so each apartment is inherently unique with bespoke characteristics. A once derelict set of buildings has been transformed into a vibrant and unique new community, creating a bespoke development that draws on its rich history and secures its long-term future for this important set of buildings and the courtyard spaces they create.

We were able to draw on our expertise of working with heritage buildings and engaging with existing communities while reinventing the former school as a residential development which is outward-looking and offers a new approach to living in the 21st century.
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‘This project is just as much about the spaces which the buildings create as the buildings themselves.’
 
Lee Davies | Partner at Conran and Partners
Awards
 
 
 
Housing Design Awards
Completed Scheme
 
2016
Baylis Old School
Winner
 
 
Blueprint Awards
Best Sustainable Project
 
2016
Baylis Old School
Shortlisted
 
 
FX Award
Mixed use development
 
2016
Baylis Old School
Shortlisted
 
 
New London Award
Conservation and Retrofit
 
2016
Baylis Old School
Shortlisted
 
 
Evening Standard New Homes Awards
Best Conversion
 
2015
Baylis Old School
Highly Commended
 
 
Sunday Times British Homes Awards
Development of the Year (a scheme of over 100 houses)
 
2015
Baylis Old School
Commended
 
 
Royal Town Planning Institute Awards for Planning Excellence
Excellence in Planning for Built Heritage
 
2015
Baylis Old School
Highly Commended
 
 
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