In his 1978 book 'The Child in the City' Colin Ward explored the potential for learning which could be achieved through a direct interaction between the child and the city: 'we are thinking of learning through the city, learning about the city, learning to use the city, to control the city or to change the city ... as well as the hard city of buildings, places and artefacts, there is the soft city of human contacts and activities.’

Last year the government issued a set of Baseline School Designs, a series of standardised floor plans intended to enable fast and cheap school construction.

My project aims to resist this standardisation which leaves little room for individuality, discovery, creativity and learning.

The proposal expands from the All Souls School in Fitzrovia opening up the school to the surrounding city and streets. With the existing school building acting as a centralised hub of classroom spaces, the other programs of the school are distributed throughout Fitzrovia. The school and its children inhabit the series of passages which characterise this area of London, spaces which already act as meeting places, with a sense of interiority and a level of removal from the city whilst being an extension of the street.

At times the school would be fully open to the street, creating direct interactions between the school, the city and the surrounding community. Through translucent and lighter elements a level of intimacy and protection can be introduced. The school is at once a part of the city and removed from it, existing side by side.


The school expands out from the existing All Souls School into the streets and passages of Fitzrovia. This enables new opportunities for encounters, interaction and learning between the city and the school children.


A route is created which travels through the more enclosed parts of the school and the streets of the city. The ground marks the route and the transition from street to school to passage through levels of more intimate detailing and textures.


Layers of collage playing with solidity and translucency create depth and new routes through the site.

Collage Models

New spaces, progressions, movements from intimate to open space and relationships between spaces are developed through the layering and collaging of physical elements and light.

Theatre Section

In Newman Passage a theatre space for the school is created. The theatre cuts under existing buildings utilising the passage as a central stage space. Levels within the space have varying degrees of openness to the city, with ground level acting as an extension of the street whilst upper and lower levels create quieter spaces for school activities. A translucent wall mediates between the school on one side and the interior of the neighbouring building on the other, the two programs existing alongside each other, read through the silhouette.

Sectional Model

A steel structure underpins the upper floors of the existing buildings, creating a void space below leading from Newman Street through to Newman Passage through to Rathbone Street. This enables the insertion of the theatre space and the continuation of the street through the school.

Open to Street

At times the school can be open to the city, as a continuation of the street. As people pass through they interact with the school, and at once become players on the theatre stage.

Closed to Street

The school can be cut off from the city through large translucent doors, maintaining a relationship between the two but creating a private and protected space for the children.

Layers of Theatre to Passage to Theatre

The school becomes a series of layered spaces and transitions. From open space to enclosed space, interior to exterior, street to passage. The new interior school spaces along with the passages become their own interiorised streets, with spaces for activities to fill them, creating new spaces for socialising and learning.

Continuation of Street

The street continues through the school creating new pedestrian routes through the city. People walk alongside the activities of the school, engaging with its programs and students.