ArtsEd Schools

The Brief

Arts Ed school is an internationally renowned centre for the performing arts. The existing campus was housed in the former Chiswick Polytechnic built in the 1930s, which had been adapted and added to at various points through the 20th century which had resulted in the space becoming disjointed and unable to provide modern educational facilities. The Client’s brief was to unlock the site, make it fully accessible and create much needed studio, rehearsal and teaching facilities, refurbishing and upgrading the existing buildings and connecting them with brand new purpose built facilities. To facilitate this ambitious plan the existing buildings within the courtyard where demolished and a new substation installed.

Key to the brief was ensuring economic and environmental sustainability. In response to this a new high-performance façade was installed, cloaking the existing thin and leaky façade. The new teaching spaces created were also clad in the high performance façade to minimize acoustic transmission between spaces and reduce energy consumption. A newly installed blue roof controls rainwater runoff and a hybrid natural ventilation strategy further reduces energy consumption.




London W4


De Matos Ryan


31,000 ft²


  • Education


  • Health & Safety (CDM)

The Challenge

In order to minimize disruption to the school and its activities the project was completed in 3 phases which were carefully programmed around the academic calendar.

Our input as Principal Designer saw us make valuable interventions to the evolving design in particularly in respect of access and maintenance. In our role as the CDM Client Advisor we also provided advice on a number of health & safety issues, including the erection of the tower crane, measures to reduce risks during the lifting and over-sailing of steel works across the live school site, guidance on UXO surveys and the safe removal of asbestos identified within parts of the refurbished areas of the buildings.

Ensuring that the works were coordinated with the day to day operations of the school activities was a key focus of the project. The school is located in a tight, landlocked block and sits on a busy main road. Part of our role was to ensure that the safety of the public was also taken into consideration during the installation of temporary works and site deliveries.

The Outcome

On completion the three storey, 31,000 ft² facility now houses two purpose built rehearsal studios, four dance studios, acting studios, a suite of classrooms for the Day school and Sixth Form and a large well equipped gym. The building is capped with a green roof which provides a versatile terrace, recreation space and top floor studio space. A large naturally lit atrium connects the old and new buildings and now forms the main communal space at the heart of the school.

The project was completed during the pandemic and was completed on budget and 2 months behind schedule, an impressive feat given the external circumstances impacting the construction industry when it was delivered. The Client has recently instructed us to input into feasibility studies for the next phase of the capital works programme.

Arts Ed has been shortlisted for a 2022 NLA award in three categories; for Education, for Wellbeing and for Retrofit.

Size of new teaching block
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Dance studio floor to ceiling height
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Length of programmee
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"The students, pupils and staff are delighted with the new spaces and we are very much looking forward to showing people round.”
Sue Sandle
Director of Development, ArtsEd School

Other Projects We’ve Completed Include

West Downs Teaching & Learning Centre

Francis Holland School – Centre for Creative Learning

Berkhamsted School – Various Projects