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 was shortlisted for the 2019 Wood Awards, AJ Small Project Awards and RIBA MacEwan 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.

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Selected Press & Awards

Project updates

First lessons take place in the Music Pavilion — 02.02.2019

Second Fix Electrical for Music Pavilion Complete — 29.01.2019

Installation of furniture in the Music Pavilion — 09.10.2018

Site progress in Lacey Green — 10.09.2018

Construction underway on Phase 2 of the Music Pavilion — 17.08.2018

Technical design for Phase Two of the Music Pavilion is nearly complete — 05.07.2018

Delighted that Crowdfunding target for the Phase Two of the Music Pavilion has been successful — 20.12.2017

Music Room Phase Two · textiles & furniture exhibition opens at Grymsdyke Farm — 30.06.2017

Planning permission granted for second phase of the Music Room — 25.05.2017

Phase One of the Music Room opens! — 08.01.2016

Pavilion flooring complete — 25.10.2015

Project Lacey Green wins the Sustain RCA Award for Visionary Process — 18.09.2015

Roof complete — 20.08.2015

Landscaping around pavilion — 18.08.2015

Project Lacey Green highlighted in AJ — 25.07.2015

Completion of structure — 01.07.2015

Topping out — 07.06.2015

Barn-raising begins — 05.06.2015

Foundations — 31.05.2015

Back on site — 28.05.2015

Children’s design workshop — 11.05.2015

Timber delivery — 31.03.2015

Preparation for build — 14.03.2015

Community input — 11.03.2015

Refining the structure — 14.02.2015

Material samples — 29.01.2015

AAVS 2015 launched — 23.01.2015

Planning application — 11.01.2015

Structural design development — 23.12.2014

School community — 18.12.2014

Visiting Hooke Park — 09.12.2014

Initial design development — 05.12.2014

Music & architecture in british schools — 09.11.2014

Local manufacturers — 05.11.2014

New classroom for St. John’s School — 28.10.2014