The Mulberry House School

A collaboration with lead designer Prof. Douglas Clelland with AB+A as Executive Architects to provide alterations and extension to The Mulberry House School.

The unusual aspect of MHS is its intensive land use. The site is finite and already 100% utilised for a school building and associated but modest play areas. More schoolroom space and more play areas were required . The proposition unlocked a challenging site and delivered the spatial requirements by building over the existing school.

Design is of course a synthesis of a multitude of factors. Here the project team, the close collaboration with engineers, contributed to creative thinking about a brief that at first sight posed difficult parameters of a “site in the sky”.

The extraordinary is landing a new building atop a living and working school on just four points of support that are not at its corners, while not touching structurally the existing, and executing the construction with the school in use and occupation by children other than for periods of heaviest lifting and the critical playground interventions of piling, foundations and principal column erection.

This drove all considerations of buildability and safety for children, staff, public and operatives.


Photography by Simon Kennedy –


  • London

Gross Area

  • 500 to 999 sqm


  • Education, School

Key Services

  • Executive Architect Services, Energy Efficient Design