Holland Park School

The new school building completed

Holland Park School, one of the country’s first and most famous comprehensive schools, has moved into a magnificent new building.

Work on the £80 million project finished in October 2012. The new six-storey building is divided into two distinct halves, separated by a central atrium stretching the full length of the building and linked by a series of walkways on each level. Take a tour!


Key features include:

  • large, well-designed classrooms
  • modern Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
  • full disabled access The new Holland Park School
  • excellent informal spaces for social interaction
  • a learning resource centre
  • significantly improved facilities for the sixth form
  • high quality dance, drama, arts, science and technology facilities
  • improved opportunities for community use
  • a more secure learning environment

Specifically on sport and play there is:

  • a 25m swimming pool
  • a four-court sports hall
  • a fitness suite
  • a synthetic turf all-weather sports pitch
  • retention of the existing tennis courts
  • a four tennis court-sized multi-use games area (‘MUGA’)
  • improved landscaping across the site
  • sports lighting
  • informal covered play/teaching areas in addition to informal, social and habitat areas.

The new Holland Park SchoolThe old Holland Park School consisted of a number of buildings dispersed across a site that by central London standards was unusually large. That site was split in two by a public walkway but both sides were joined by a footbridge. Built in the 1950s the old buildings’ mechanical plant was on its last legs, classrooms were inflexible and valuable teaching time was being lost at classroom changeover on such a large site.

It was soon realised that by consolidating all school activity into a single, large building on the northern part of the site, the land to the south could be released for sale to help meet the cost of the new school.  And this being Kensington and Chelsea, the land values were such that there was a good chance the sale might pay for the school outright.

As described above, the school was on a large site but because of the configuration of the buildings and landscaping, much of that space wasn’t suitable for sports or even just informal play. Outdoor pitches at the school took the form of a tarmac area where falls could easily result in injury. 

Though the new Holland Park School is now on a smaller site, in every other way it is larger than its predecessor. 

The layout

Basement level

  • four-court sports hall
  • 25-metre four-lane swimming pool
  • fitness suite
  • dance studios
  • food technology workshop
  • Swimming pool at the new Holland Park Schooldining area
  • changing and showering facilities

Ground floor

  • main school entrance
  • school reception
  • facilities for visitors
  • meeting rooms
  • assembly hall
  • administrative and teacher support rooms
  • community entrance and office

First floor

  • learning resource centre with ICT facilities
  • flexible classrooms with dedicated storage
  • science laboratories with preparation areas
  • ICT rooms
  • Sixth-form area

Second to fourth floors

The second to fourth floors are for dedicated teaching spaces including:

  • general classrooms on the eastern side of the building
  • specialist teaching areas including science laboratories, art, drama, design and technology, ICT and music areas on the western side of the building
  • informal and social student areas

Fifth floorScience labs in the new Holland Park School

The fifth floor is the top floor located on the western side of the building. It houses the staff room and has an outdoor terrace.

Community use

The community will be able to use the new facilities such as the sports hall, sports pitches, swimming pool and performing arts facilities. Discussions are currently underway about how that will be managed.

The residential development

To pay for the school, the Council has sold the southern part of the old school site for residential development.  Planning permission has been granted for 72 homes.  The homes will be arranged in a U-shape around a central landscaped courtyard and include a children’s play space.  All will be built to Lifetime Homes Standards. Pedestrian and vehicle access will be from Campden Hill.

Affordable homes

As planning gain, the Council has funded two outstanding residential developments, one in Ifield Road, in Chelsea, the other at Silchester Garages in North Kensington. At Ifield, we have paid for 20 new units of social housing, at Silchester, 63 units of affordable and intermediate housing.

The sale

The sale of the southern site has generated £105 million. From the outset the Council has set out to build the optimum new school for Holland Park, the specification is therefore unusually high. Nevertheless, the sale not only pays for the school outright it has funded two high quality developments of affordable housing and it will also contribute a very substantial sum towards the construction of other new schools in the borough.