In 2016, we completed the second phase of our ongoing redesign at Rosemary Works School in consultation with the school’s directors, teachers, parents and pupils. This stage centred around the school’s multi-purpose hall. To generate ideas on how this space might be used, we held a series of workshops with Rosemary Works pupils where they shared their creative visions for the space with us.
To allow the space to convert from an open, communal space for lunch sittings, assemblies and events into cosier, more intimate enclosures suited to after-school clubs, reading groups or special lessons, we introduced two parallel curtain rails; one for sheer and another for opaque layers of colourful and durable fabrics.
Keeping in mind the adventurousness of the young users, we created under-stair hide-outs and playful openings in the furniture, as well as a ‘magic’ sticky wall by the staircase, which uses a special magnetic plaster to act as a customisable pin board.
We also incorporated a podium, a ‘keepsafe-house’ and a B-shaped bookcase into our design. These mobile and multi-functional furniture elements provide a variety of storage options and create an engaging, interactive environment for education.
The podium (featuring cut-out details in the shape of canal boats to nod to the school’s canal-side location) functions either as a mini-bleacher for seating, or as a stage or platform perfect for receiving academic awards or reading prize-winning essays.
The ‘keepsafe-house’ has small drawers and cubby-holes ideal for storage or playing games, as well as shelving for practical storage of larger items, and a child-height ‘window’ to encourage using the house for all sorts of imaginative games.
The charming B-shaped bookcase blurs (letter)form and function. At just over a metre high, it is oversize yet child-scaled and mounted on lockable castors to easily move around large numbers of books on two deep shelves.
These custom-designed elements form a ‘kit of parts’ which can either divide the space or accommodate a number of simultaneous activities within a single room. And, when they’re no longer needed, they stow neatly and conveniently away beneath an existing staircase.
“We have been implementing an ambitious programme to re-imagine Rosemary Works, and the new hall is the latest addition to our programme, which has already won design awards. We are delighted to continue our partnership with Aberrant Architecture to realise our aspirations.”
Jacqueline Loque, Director of Rosemary Works
Rosemary Works School
De Beauvoir Town, London