ACS Egham Ideas Building

Grand ideas in a modest building

ACS Egham is an IB World School for 600 students aged 4 to 18, set in a 20-acre campus surrounded by woods and parkland. In 2018, we undertook a masterplan with the aims of creating better connections across the site and modernising their learning environment.

There is only one new building in the masterplan: the Ideas Building. In collaboration with the school, we've come up with an exciting design that provides much needed dedicated diploma classrooms and a variety of contemporary spaces that encourage collaborative working and independent thinking.

At the heart of the two-storey building is a large, double-height project space, where up to 80 students can be taught at a time (i.e. a year group). It features write-on walls, a large screen for briefings and presentations, and an amphitheatre stair that is lined with books, with storage for resources running up the side. Furniture is easily moveable for flexibility of use.

Adjacent, an ‘open learning’ space can be included or used as a separate teaching area. Study niches and group work rooms lead the way to the quiet reading room, where older students can work independently. Desks interspersed with soft seating create a relaxed academic atmosphere.

The ground floor also includes new SEN classrooms. On the first floor, diploma facilities for 16 students – six classrooms and two science labs – connect to the neighbouring diploma centre, strengthening the department’s identity. Glazed walls borrow light from the circulation and allow supervision of the breakout spaces.

The slender Ideas Building fits snugly alongside the sports centre, replacing a building that jutted out in a way that created a sense of division in the site. The streamlined design will change the way people navigate the site and forms a new outdoor social ‘heart’ for the upper school. Timber cladding reflects the woodland surrounding and will weather well.


ClientACS Egham International School

CompletionSummer 2022

QS & project manager & principal designerRobinson Low Francis

Services engineerQODA Consulting

Structural & civil engineerMason Navarro Pledge Ltd

LandscapeBradley-Hole Schoenaich Landscape

Planning consultantStride Treglown

AcousticsMax Fordham

Approved InspectorAssent Building Control

Fire consultantOFR Consultants