Baylis Old School

London

The Lilian Baylis School was once on the English Heritage Buildings at Risk register, but has been transformed into a development of 149 homes, both new build and conversion/refurbishment, with 60% for private sale and 40% for social housing.

The school was designed by ACP Architects in 1962 in the concrete Brutalist style, and was named after famed Victorian theatre manager Lilian Baylis. The existing school buildings were Grade II listed but vacated in 2005, after which they became increasingly derelict.

Henley Homes acquired the site from the London Borough of Lambeth and worked with architect Conran & Partners on the scheme, which aimed to:

  • Maximise the potential of existing conversion units so the architectural heritage was preserved and became part of the reason to purchase.
  • Create a new build zone to complement and enhance conversion units.
  • Rejuvenate the overgrown grounds to create tranquil, private courtyards, full of clever planting, offering nourishing views of amenity space.
  • Reconnect with the local community, by provision of a community hall and access to nearby sporting initiatives.

Following negotiation with English Heritage, conservation and Planning, it was agreed that the area containing the more dilapidated and less architecturally significant buildings could be demolished to make way for a new block. This made refurbishment of the remaining listed buildings commercially viable.

The new build element includes a terrace of townhouses with entrances from the street, providing a vibrant link between the 1960s architecture and the Victorian terrace facing it. This recreates, for the first time in more than a decade, a welcoming aspect to the site.

The design of the new build apartments uses the strongest of the existing architectural themes and adds amenities, such as roof terraces and balconies.