The Garden SEN School opens a new 16-18 school, The Pavilion.
Originally known as New Regents College the school consists of two very different buildings: the 1960 ‘Training Centre’ and Foster Associates (now Foster and Partners) 1972 Special Care Unit. Each building characterises the architectural thinking of its time and has been remodelled by paring away many of the unwanted and unsympathetic alterations of the intervening decades.
In the case of the Special Care Unit there exists good documentation which has allowed the team to appreciate the principles of its organisation and construction. Its Heritage value has been carefully taken into account and the proposal preserves what remains, and works sympathetically with the plan and detail of the building restoring its arrangement with sliding screens and original colour scheme.
The two buildings bring new life to this site after years of neglect and will be a school for students living with extreme forms of Autism. The emphasis is on preparation for life – as with the award winning Garden School which GLA completed in 2014. The school houses specialist rooms including a training Cafe and independent living Flat and will be a centre for professional development and staff training.
Senior Leadership Team member, Wayne Revell commented: ‘I haven’t been a class teacher for several years, but seeing the transformation of (the buildings) made me wish that one of the beautiful classrooms, with their natural light, splashes of colour and direct access to enclosed outdoor space, was mine! It would be a privilege for any teacher to work in such an environment.’