St. John’s Music Pavilion

St. John’s is a small state primary school, located in the Buckinghamshire village of Lacey Green. The project to design and build a new music pavilion for the school was initiated as Clementine’s final design thesis at the RCA in 2014, and continued as a long-term collaboration with the local community.

The double-pitched timber structure, which was designed with Webb Yates Engineers, is formed of CNC-milled timber members assembled as an interlocking lattice. The structural concept of a reciprocal frame, with each member resting on the adjacent one, reflects the ethos of collaboration within the project as a whole. Focusing on community involvement, low energy consumption, natural light and renewable materials, the project won the Sustain RCA award in the ‘Visionary Processes’ category, received a RIBA McAslan Bursary, and has also recently been shortlisted for the 2019 Wood Awards.

Phase One was prototyped and fabricated at Grysmdyke Farm, a research and fabrication facility in the village, using timber donated by Hooke Park, a managed forest owned and run by the Architectural Association. All other materials and services were donated in kind. The structure was assembled as part of a two-week AA Visiting School workshop, and then completed over the next five months by Clementine, with the support of the school’s caretaker and volunteers. Phase One opened in 2015 and was initially used as an outdoor pavilion during the summer term.

Dedicated fundraising for the second phase began in partnership with the school’s Parents’ Association in 2017, enabling the structure to be enclosed as a much-needed classroom. The back of the timber frame was clad in polycarbonate panels, which emit even indirect north light into the space all day, and insulation was added to the walls, roof and floor. The cladding on the sides of the structure was brought all the way down to the ground, and storage benches were installed around the perimeter of the room. A new stud wall was built within the front portal frame, and a full-width bi-folding door was installed in the larger of the two gables, allowing the space to open up to the grassy area in front of the building. The front facade was clad with a vertical larch rain screen and the black-stained timber weather-boarding was re-installed on the walls and roof, and re-painted. CIL funding from Wycombe Council enabled two local craftspeople to contribute to the second phase; Design & Making developed storage and seating solutions informed by the rich local furniture-making heritage whilst Karina Thomas’s work focused on improving the thermal insulation and acoustic performance of the space through the installation of a series of woven lambswool panels. 

Project Partners

  • St. John's Parents' Association
  • Grymsdyke Farm


  • AET Transport
  • Assure Building Control
  • Astro Lighting
  • Arbtech
  • The Beechwood Trust
  • Blanchford Building Supplies
  • Country Supplies
  • CoOp Local Causes
  • Direct Chemicals
  • EcoTherm Insulation
  • Eland Steel
  • Enviro Solution
  • Expamet
  • Hawes Plant & Tool Hire
  • Helpful Hirings
  • HG Matthews Brickworks
  • Hilti
  • Hooke Park
  • Instron
  • Jewson
  • Knauf AMF
  • Lacey Green Productions
  • M H Hall & Sons Steel Fabricators
  • Montrose Steel
  • Osmo UK
  • Origin Windows
  • Paperback
  • Quattro UK
  • Sherwood Sherwood Forestry Ltd
  • South Bucks Tree Surgeons Ltd
  • Speen Shop Charity Committee
  • SPH Groundworks
  • Speen Festival
  • Tesco Bags of Help
  • Wycombe Carpet Centre
  • The Woods Ballard Family
  • The Gulliver Family
  • Lynette Gogay
  • Rose & Ariana Smith
  • Jacqueline Ayres & George Ayres
  • Biss Family
  • Emily & Gordon Sweny
  • Jo, Ben, Oliver & Zoe Sharp
  • Pernilla Hagbert
  • The Houldsworths
  • Liz Yardley
  • Ciro & Liz Paradiso
  • Ruth, Andy, Amy, May & Felix Wingrove
  • Bolton Family
  • Jennie & Anthony Morris
  • Atlanta Morling Family
  • The Robertsons
  • Hugh, Jessie, George & Edward Laughton
  • Lidia Cantele
  • Tanya McCallin
  • Morling Family
  • Team Ebdon
  • The Sharps
  • Sue & Chris Worthington


  • 2021 MacEwen Award - shortlisted
  • 2020 AJ Small Projects Award - shortlisted
  • 2019 Wood Award - shortlisted
  • 2015 RIBA McAslan Bursary - winner
  • 2015 Sustain RCA Award - winner

Project News