Cottrell & Vermeulen Architecture is an award winning RIBA Chartered Practice with more than two decades of design experience.
November 2017

Planning submitted for new secondary school in Bermondsey

Planning has been submitted for a new 600-place secondary school that will form the new home for the existing Compass School Southwark.

The proposed new school forms a core component of the KPF Masterplan for the Biscuit Factory and Bermondsey Campus site for Grosvenor Estates. Located on the north edge of the development, adjacent to the existing school, the new school will be placed at the heart of existing community and at the gateway to the new neighbourhood. It will be an integral part of the community and will provide an exemplary urban school.

November 2017

New website for the Stephen Lawrence Prize

Cottrell & Vermeulen are pleased to be featured in the winners listings on the brand new Steven Lawrence Prize website.

We won the award in 2002 for The Cardboard Building for Westborough Primary School.

See the full listing and new website here:

Open House 2017
September 2017

Open House London

We have 3 projects included in Open House London this year as part of their 25th Anniversary.

If you would like to have a look inside some of our recently completed education projects then please come and visit us on Saturday 16th September 2017 where we will be on hand at Sacred Heart School in Camberwell, Lyndhurst Primary School also in Camberwell and Streatham and Clapham High School Sixth Form in Lambeth.

For details of opening times and addresses please go to the Open House 2017 website for more information.

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September 2017

Bellenden Primary School update

Construction work is progressing well at the new Bellenden Primary School in Peckham. The new building is part of Southwark’s Primary Expansion Programme increasing provision from a single to two forms of entry. The school are moving from their existing site nearby to the new building where we have also designed the landscape.

We are using a mixed palette of handmade bricks, coloured polycarbonate and precast concrete to give the school a strong identity embedded in the community. The scale of the building complements the surrounding residential properties with the pitched roofs and chimneys to the classrooms blocks.

The project is due to be completed in February 2018

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August 2017

Open City, Architecture in Schools: Primary 2017

Paul and Hattie recently took part in the Architecture in Schools: Primary Programme run by Open City. Partnered with Year 5 at Reay Primary School in Lambeth and their teacher Lucy Coates to help engage the pupils directly with their built environment and give them the opportunity to propose their own ideas through creative challenges.

The brief this year was for the class to ‘Design your own open city neighbourhood’. After visiting Tate Modern with Lucy and the class they went on to draw, design and model make their open city designs. The efforts of Year 5 were rewarded with the class being awarded the Open City All-Rounder Prize 2017, along with Most Imaginative Design Year 5 and Best Class Effort Year 5.

We would like to congratulate the Year 5 class at Reay Primary School and their teacher Lucy.

August 2017

Streatham & Clapham High School

Phase 2 of the works at Streatham & Clapham High School is currently under construction. Phase 2 comprises of a new build extension featuring a new dining hall, new school entrance and reception facilities along with refurbishment works to the existing dining hall to provide a new kitchen and seminar space as well as landscape works throughout the school site.

As Phase 1, the structure is Cross Laminated Timber panels and Glulam ‘tree’ columns and beams.

The majority of the finishes will be the exposed cross laminated timber, with areas of plasterboard to achieve acoustic separation and conceal services installations.

Externally the new extension will be clad in curved glazed ceramic tiles to complement the curvature of the external walls with large expansive glazed curtain walling.

This project is due to be completed in February 2018.

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March 2017

Planning permission granted for Krishna Avanti Primary School

Krishna Avanti Primary School is a new build, two form entry primary school in Croydon. It is a Hindu faith Free school open to all, regardless of faith. It will be the third school Cottrell and Vermeulen have designed for the trust, Krishna Avanti primary school in Harrow was completed in 2008.

The Croydon school is located on a prominent site, straddling busy, built up Croydon and the leafy Waldrons Conservation area. These conditions have strongly influenced the design. The building features a linear teaching block, double height hall space and a roof top play deck. The school will be used by the community out of hours.

The scheme received planning permission in March 2017 and is due to start on site in May this year, with a planned opening date in September 2019.

March 2017

School & Work: Architectural Conversations between Pedagogy and Practice

Cottrell and Vermeulen Architecture was recently involved in an exhibition held at The Cass, London Metropolitan University, curated by Rita Adamo.

The exhibition School/Work: Architectural Conversations between Pedagogy and Practice focussed on the relationship between the theoretical world of university architecture and the applied world of practice and making in architecture all whilst complementing the school’s ethos of socially engaged architecture.

Our contribution to the exhibition saw some of our staff exhibiting their past university projects along with some of the projects that they have been involved in at the office.

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January 2017

Planning permission granted for Churchill College

Cottrell and Vermeulen Architecture have secured planning consent for 30 new student rooms and five flats for postgraduate housing at Churchill College.

The new housing will be adjacent to Cottrell and Vermeulen Architecture’s previous postgraduate housing scheme, which was completed in 2000. The development will extend the architectural and landscape approach of the original scheme to create a new consolidated postgraduate campus within the college. The project will be led by Simon and Priscilla who are both alumni of the College.

Section cut view Rev A
January 2017

Planning permission granted for Grove Lane

Cottrell and Vermeulen Architecture are set to construct a new two storey home within the Camberwell Grove Conservation Area.

The new house replaces an existing garage facing onto a mews street. This aims to be a contemporary and simple form which also harmonises with neighbouring properties. Large first floor windows are similar in scale to the neighbouring house, while minimal openings to the ground floor garage maintain privacy from the street. Rich textured stock brick and “waney-edge” timber panelling combine to form a simple yet interesting facade.

Alongside the new building Cottrell and Vermeulen Architecture will also refurbishment and remodel the main existing Georgian house to make it function better for the residents. The front facade of the historic property will be refurbished, while excavation and remodelling of the front garden will provide improved access and daylight at the basement level.

November 2016

Brentwood School wins Brick Award

Brentwood School Learning Resource Centre has won a 2016 Brick Award for Best Education Building. The Brick Awards are organised by the Brick Development Association and recognise the very best use of the material in new buildings.

The judges citation for Brentwood School said:

‘Brick was instrumental in the construction of the school’s Learning Resource Centre which as an educational environment was subject to a myriad of practical considerations.

‘As an extension to the existing library, the subtle relief patterning of a heritage red blend brick provides an understated aesthetic, which gives a distinct character without detracting from the overall flow between buildings. This was articulated by one judge as ‘blending in easily while simultaneously bringing its own unique contribution’.

‘As well as providing an essential learning space fit for expanding young minds, brick has also been used to refocus the school’s sense of communal centre, through the tasteful use of brick archways and a new brick arcade. The quality of execution in these examples led to the judge’s summary: ‘exemplary brickwork’.’

For more information click here

Bellenden new build model
November 2016

Construction has begun for Bellenden Primary School

Construction has begun for the new build Bellenden Primary School in Peckham, which when completed will allow the school to relocate from its existing run down facilities nearby to the new building on the site of a disused care home.

The school is an important centre for the local community, and its new building, nursery and play areas will offer upgraded community facilities. The location of the dining area and kitchen at the front of the site allows these areas to operate independently and securely from the school if required. As well as offering up to date teaching, play and community spaces, the new building will cater for rising pupil numbers, allowing expansion from one form entry to two form entry.

This project is due to be completed in February 2018.

September 2016

Construction underway for new house in Kenya

Construction on a new house in Kenya is well underway and is due to complete toward the end of the year. The two-storey house, located on Takangu Creek, uses local materials such as un-faced coral blocks and traditional building techniques, replicating the simplicity of traditional village houses. The building is off the grid, powered solely by renewable energy. The house will be embedded within an indigenous natural landscape, with low maintenance trees and shrubs providing a protected wildlife corridor for protected wildlife such as suni antelope, sunbirds, elephant shrew and Skyes’ monkeys.

16.05.31 Courtyard
May 2016

Hindu Haveli gains planning permission

Cottrell and Vermeulen Architecture are set to build a new two-storey haveli in the grounds of Bhaktivedanta Manor, a Hindu temple in Hertfordshire.

Bhaktivedanta Manor and grounds is used by the Hindu community for everyday worship and festivals. The new proposal introduces new worship and community facilities over 2100mof floor space, meeting the growing needs of the Hindu community both locally and nationally.

COMMUNAL_view and plan
March 2016

CVA to design postgraduate housing for Churchill College, Cambridge

We are delighted to announce that we are winners of a competition to design postgraduate housing for Churchill College, Cambridge. The scheme will see an additional 30 student rooms and five flats built on the site. 

The housing will be  adjacent to Cottrell and Vermeulen Architecture’s previous postgraduate housing scheme, which completed in 2000. The proposals will extend the architectural and landscape approach of the original scheme to create a new consolidated postgraduate campus within the college. The project will be led by Simon and Priscilla who are both alumni of the College. CVA beat a shortlist of practices including Mole Architects, 5th Studio, Alison Brooks Architects and Proctor and Matthews Architects.

news - bd awards
March 2016

Cottrell and Vermeulen named Building Design’s Architect of the Year

We have claimed this year’s BD Architect of the Year gold award, following being named Education Architect of the Year for the second time since 2011.

BD’s annual celebration of architecture is highly regarded, unique in recognising a body of work and a dedication to the industry.

BD editor Thomas Lane said: “The judges felt Cottrell & Vermeulen represented a quiet and considered style of architecture which is very important in schools and public buildings. They have been doing this for many years. This is exactly the sort of architect who needs to be celebrated.”

Click here to read more about our Architect of the Year gold award win

December 2015

New learning resource centre now complete at Brentwood School

The school’s revamped LRC and adjoining new learning block have now reached completion, with the buildings set to be in full use in February.

The Bean LRC at Brentwood School in Essex provides the independent school with a new two-storey extension to their existing library, transforming how the building is used while meeting the demands of the 21st century technological landscape. The project also sees the redevelopment of an adjoining 1960s teaching block, increasing learning space and creating a sense of coherence between the buildings.

The existing Bean Library was built in 1929, encompassing two floors at the centre of the campus. Unable to accommodate the needs of 1,200 pupils, the library was seen be in vast need of improvement.

As well as creating an education hub, the ground floor of the library has been designed as a dedicated social area. An entrance portico links study and social spaces, offering a transition space that can be used for talks and lectures.

The design responds to the existing grain of the school site, which is characterised by a series of courtyards and quadrangles. The new buildings emphasise this approach, physically connecting the school’s central gardens through a new arcade. This arcade takes inspiration from a nearby cloister and informs the rest of the elevation, creating an array of arches that form a picturesque backdrop to a heavily used stage lawn.

Both buildings seek to reflect the existing built context, clad in a sympathetic red brick and offering similar proportions to surrounding buildings. A subtle brick patterning used on the Cunliffe Building contrasts with its surroundings and adds visual interest to the façade.

More information on the LRC can be seen here. 

15 October 2015

Doors open at Lyndhurst Primary School

The new extension at Lyndhurst Primary School in Southwark is now in full use.

Cottrell and Vermeulen Architecture have designed a partial refurbishment, demolition and extension for the school, allowing it to expand from a 1.5 form entry to 2FE. The dominant use of brick is a highlight of the design, used not only as a response to the school’s existing built landscape but also to accentuate the bold design of the building.

The existing school consists of several buildings of varying age dating from approximately 1905. Each of these buildings are considered to be assets to the Camberwell Grove Conservation Area and therefore any new design needed to both complement and enhance the context of the existing school.

The dynamic elevations of the new building are a result of the natural ventilation strategy, providing the classrooms with high levels of fresh air and subsequently increasing comfort levels throughout. Three sizes of window and two heights of brick wall were developed using this strategy, adding a playful but functional aspect to the design. Substantial eaves on all windows reduce direct sunlight and distracting glare in the summer months. Two elevations feature windows incorporating a red brick surround, inspired by a detail from the main school building.

Several materials are used to juxtapose the overwhelmingly horizontal brick extension, highlighting key moments of interest throughout the design. Vertical alternate weatherboard is used externally to both signpost the entrance of the building and highlight the transition between the existing school and the new extension. The horizontal patterning of the timber is then repeated internally, incorporating the use of shuttered concrete and a strong decorative scheme.

In a further response to the urban context of the site, the new building was designed to unite the somewhat disarrayed layout of the existing buildings. This work involved creating one common secure entrance for the school and creating a distinct physical and visual separation between foundation years and KS1 and KS2. The location of the new extension was chosen so that the design would have a minimum impact of the immediate streetscape and the elevation of the main school building to the playground while allowing an expressive separate form.

By demolishing existing temporary buildings, the new site strategy provides a ground floor footprint that is smaller than the existing footprint. Additionally, the demolition enabled new landscaped spaces to link together the collection of existing buildings and the new extension, defining these spaces to create a coherent learning environment.

Click here for more information about Lyndhurst Primary School

15 September 2015

Cottrell and Vermeulen appointed to design new 600-place secondary school in Bermondsey

Cottrell & Vermeulen Architecture has been appointed by Grosvenor to design a new secondary school as part of a new development close to Bermondsey underground station in south London. The overall development, lead by Karakusevic Carson Architects, will see the rejuvenation of a former biscuit factory and adjacent university campus previously occupied by Lewisham Southwark College.

The historic Peek Frean Biscuit Factory closed in 1989. The site currently includes historic buildings with office, industrial and studio space for small businesses managed by Workspace. These will be retained and integrated into the new masterplan. The site was acquired by Grosvenor in October 2013 and has a previous planning permission for 800 new homes, employment space and a park.

Richard Powell Executive Director, Development at Grosvenor Britain & Ireland said: “We have assembled a terrific team for the job. These architects know London intimately and we are confident they will capture the best of Bermondsey and infuse this into the designs. It is important that we listen to what the local community wants and meet their long-term needs, including much-needed new homes.”

Bean Library Brentwood School Cottrell and Vermeulen Architects
September 2016

Brentwood School Learning Resource Centre shortlisted for multiple awards

The Brentwood School Bean Learning Resource Centre, which was opened earlier this year, has been shortlisted in the 2016 British Construction Industry awards, the Architects’ Journal Retrofit Awards and the Brick Awards.

The new development provides the independent school in Essex with a new two-storey extension to their existing library, transforming how the building is used while meeting the demands of the 21st century technological landscape. The project also saw the redevelopment of an adjoining 1960s teaching block, increasing learning space and creating a sense of coherence between the buildings.

More information on the LRC can be seen here.