This project for Holland Park School has given us an opportunity to explore in more detail how we work with historic buildings to make them fit for contemporary use. Grade II-listed Thorpe Lodge has a captivating history, and was originally a Palladian-style villa surrounded by countryside. Its distinguished residents include the Victorian portrait artist Henry Tanworth Wells and Montagu Norman, Governor of the Bank of England, both of whom remodelled the villa with the loss of much of the original character.
Our sensitive restoration has returned some of this character to the building, reworking it as an asset to the school. The jumbled sequence of internal spaces are now knitted back together, reconnecting the building to the street to encourage both school and community use. A contemporary, lightweight art studio extension will support the wider curriculum.