Latymer Upper School

Project Details

Macgregor Smith were commissioned by Latymer Upper School to work alongside the school to develop up designs for the main arrival space and central courtyard within the grounds. Based around a series of historic buildings along the bank of the Thames, the brief was for an improved amenity space, where nature was embraced at the heart of the scheme, with a real focus on the mental health and wellbeing of the school’s children and staff. Workshops were run with the school and students to discuss what was important to them and how the design could respond – the space would need to be used intensively and for multiple purposes – relaxing, musical performances, socialising, events, presenting and moving through – and a series of static and movable elements were explored in order for the school to change the layouts of the space to suit their requirements throughout the term. The resulting space is a real green oasis, with quieter social niches set within densely planted groves and flexible circulation and stage areas encouraging performance and outdoor classroom activities throughout the year.

Design Details

  • Introduction of a ‘mini urban arboretum’ theme, fostering connections with the school’s links throughout Europe, America and Asia, with the use of species such as Norway Maple, Cockspur Thorn, Pin Oak and Ginkgo
  • Re-use of the historic old clay bricks which had been a feature in the former courtyard, with the inclusion of benefactors’ names into the bricks used within the new scheme
  • ‘Petal’ seating and stage elements mimicking the eye-catching architectural archways at the school’s entrance off King Street
  • Staging integrated into seating elements, creating a venue for musical performances opposite the Latymer Performing Arts Centre
  • A rich mosaic of woodland edge planting incorporating native ferns, grasses and perennials create a green foil for the architecture of the school campus whilst providing a resource for the school gardening club
  • Sensitively integrated external lighting washes light onto historic elevations of the Main Hall, defining the main arrival into the school campus

Hammersmith, London

Site Area:



Latymer upper School


Price & Myers / Watkins Payne / Light Bureau




Willerby Landscapes


Jonny Bohane, Latymer Upper School