St. John’s School chapel extension

- Schools + FE

St. John’s School: Continuing the legacy of this historic school

St. John’s School

Schools + FE

Interior Design
Landscape Design




Our close working relationship with St. John’s School in Leatherhead spans over ten years, and began with a strategic masterplan. The School wanted to create a stronger sense of identity, preserving its stunning historic buildings while adding a range of high-quality, contemporary facilities. Over that decade the School evolved and became co-educational – and our masterplan evolved with it, adapting to the changing requirements.

This balance of old and new most obvious in our Old Chapel extension, where we restored the Grade II listed Victorian chapel and added a sensitively designed, modern pavilion. We designed several entirely new buildings which needed to respond to their context, while providing the best possible facilities for science, art and a new library.

Approach + Solution

We saw the key to unlocking St. John’s School’s potential as a new £5m teaching building, which would free up other areas of the site for development. Our design for this building – the Henry Dawes Centre – combines modern expression and wide areas of glazing with nods to its historic context: a cloister, red brick elevations, steeply pitched roofs.

Our Conservation Plan helped the School to understand its heritage assets and their significance, giving a strong basis for new proposals. Our single-storey pavilion attached to the chapel gives a welcoming new entrance to the building, which the wider community can now hire for events and functions. Cast stone and an elegant colonnade echo the cloisters in the main quad: here, as in our other projects for the school, pupils and staff benefit from up-to-date facilities which are firmly rooted in their surrounding history.

“ADP played a central role in the strategic process. Through a period of consultation they planned and designed a masterplan which underpins the School’s development for the next 30 years and beyond. It was a creative, innovative, but practical plan which took an inclusive view of the needs of the school.”