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Francis Holland School, Pimlico


We worked with the historic Francis Holland School in Pimlico to design an expansion of their current site, giving them space to develop more educational resources.

The Brief

Founded in the late 19th century by Canon Francis Holland, the Francis Holland School site in  Pimlico site is situated within the grand Grosvenor Estates. Threatened with closure throughout its history, the school has not only survived, but gone from strength to strength.

It has a rich history and has many former pupils of note, including: Dame Joan Collins, Sienna Miller, Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones and Jackie Collins.

Today, the school’s attendance has grown considerably. With limited land for expansion, the site acquired the adjacent former Baptist Hall/Working Men’s Club, which created the space needed for a new development. 

We were commissioned to design an extension for the school, incorporating new facilities for the arts, a studio and theatre hall, new ballet rehearsal space and two levels of music practice rooms.

Our Solution

We worked with the school to create an extension that met and exceeded their expectations. Along with the new spaces specifically designed for the development of new innovative music and drama facilities, the creation of a new controlled entrance directly onto the street worked to encourage local community to use of the new facilities.

We also worked to improve the existing building by refurbishing classrooms and the school’s canteen.

Overall, the designs remained sympathetic to the existing finishes, however the new extensions are adorned with distinctive features to promote identity within the playground.

Lawray Architects are an affable bunch of people, easy to work with yet still very professional. That’s especially useful for clients who aren’t used to the everyday business of design, contractors and tenders. They approach the job and client as you would like to think you would do yourself with anyone working in unfamiliar territory.

Daniel Shaw

Torch Theatre General Manager