Haberdashers' Aske's Girls School - Elstree, Hertfordshire

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Haberdasher's Aske's Girls School

Consultant Team
IID, Architect
Willmott Dixon, Contractors
Morgan Tucker, Structural Engineers
CBG Consultants, M& E Engineers
Tri Contracting Services, Quantity Surveyors
NLG Associates, Drainage Engineers

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The architectural update created a new kitchen/dining area, Junior School performance hall, and 6th form café, as well as new teaching spaces, while the landscape redesign created three new areas: a courtyard, outdoor dining plaza and roof gardens. At the back of the dining hall the courtyard, enclosed on all four sides, offers a landscaped area set within a protected microclimate, providing diverse facilities for both play and teaching. The space serves active play, with a core area enabling free movement of pupils, while round its margins there are inset seating areas. The paving patterns provide visual interest and encourage interactive play within the ‘pods’ of artificial turf, offering low-maintenance, year-round spaces. Tree and shrub planting offers additional amenity and seasonal interest.

At the front of the dining hall there is an outdoor dining facility with seating areas, which enables pupils to spill out of the dining hall and eat al fresco. The external dining area forms part of a linear amenity space which progressively will be given a comprehensive landscape treatment.

The first floor roof gardens are split on either side of the library, one south facing and the other north. Planting on both terraces provides a visual separation between users of the terrace and the adjoining library. Pergolas and seating areas adjacent to the raised planters are provided on the terrace, offering informal study and break-out zones. Artificial turf has been used on the terrace for ease of maintenance and year-round use.

Penultimate photograph by Peter Cook.