Kingsgate School

A bespoke infant school designed for the first years of school life. This urban school embraces the challenges of a highly constrained site to deliver a unique and captivating learning environment that nurtures children’s development.

A Civic Focus 

The school is the first stage of the wider transformation of a former railway siding in West Hampstead. The delivery of the school in phase one met an urgent demand for pupil places and gave a new civic quality to the site  a focus for the wider redevelopment.


Successful Transitions 

As a nursery and infant schoolwe wanted to create a building with a warm, nurturing environment for pupils’ first step away from the security of home. The design sought a positive transition from a public building with a strong civic presence to individual classrooms which are comfortable and welcoming.  

The school hall has a double frontage onto a new public square with the main entrance alongside – a welcoming beacon in the heart of the masterplan. Classrooms have a protected location within the site, facing the playgroundCross Laminated Timber (CLT) is used as the main structure of the building and has been left exposed internally, creating a unique, homely character to the school.

Small Steps Towards a Big Move 

The design supports pupils in moving up through the school and on to the junior school, located on a separate site. Nursery enjoy a free-flow environment with a multi-use space and direct access to outdoor play; as the age of pupils progresses this moves towards a suite of defined, focussed learning spacesThe oldest pupils crows nest location looks out over the public square and towards the sister site with classrooms and specialist spaces akin to junior school.


Embracing Urban Learning

The design embraces the urban location as a valuable learning resource. Picture windows and an external play-bridge offer expansive views of the adjacent railway line, corner windows in the hall look up to the tree canopies of retained trees in the adjacent pocket park.  

The new building has had a big impact on the learning of the children. The classrooms are big and full of light. The storage has been well thought out and resources are easily accessible to the children. The shared areas outside the classrooms have given us the flexibility to teach children in smaller groups when we need to.
Head Teacher
Kingsgate School

Client: London Borough of Camden
Project Type: Education
Location: Camden, London
Completed 2018
4FE Infant School with nursery
Photography: Tim Crocker

Camden Design Awards (2022)