Bright as a button: Holland Park school fresh and new

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes the once great Holland Park School is back in the frame. After RBKC controversially sold off some of the old school’s playing fields for 105 million to do the 80 million rebuild, the new school designed to educate 1,500 pupils is fresh, light and really beautiful. Designed by Aedas architects, the school, soon to be an academy, no longer a comp, has a fabulous swimming pool, Russel Pinch designed Ercol chairs and special bully-proof loos. Aedas, a collaboration of UK and Hong Kong companies, is the world’s largest architectural practice and has designed more than 1,000 schools around the world. But it hasn’t satisfied former teacher Ian Whitwam who calls it a “ghastly Pleasure Dome – like something related to the Shard … it resembles Manhattan ad agency”. Current parent and Evening Standard journalist Jackie Annesley couldn’t be happier though. “I think I have won London’s schools lottery. I am a smug parent,” she wrote. Since the current head teacher Colin Hall took the reins 10 years ago, uniforms and discipline have been high on the agenda. He told The Guardian: “We wanted it to be something unconventional and a little bit grand. There should be an element of aspiration, lifting the pupils out of the ordinary.” www.hollandparkschool.co.uk             Mary-Lu

 

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