The King Alfred School: Fives Building

Compact but flexible building makes the most of a small footprint

In 2006 Walters & Cohen won an invited competition to design a new building at The King Alfred School in Golders Green, north London. The brief called for a small yet highly flexible building, creating a new multi-purpose hub of accommodation within the lower school campus.

Inspired by timber-framed barns, the aim was to minimise the impact of the new building on the existing landscape, trees and playing fields, and maximise the potential of a small, tight site. The Fives Building, as it is known, is situated over three floors – one of them at lower ground floor level – within the footprint of an existing Fives Court. The orientation allows optimum natural daylight and ventilation to the generous spaces.

Through extensive consultation with the school, the design team gained an understanding of the unique ethos of King Alfred, enabling the team to tailor the design to the needs of the client, creating high quality teaching accommodation and a new building that fits seamlessly into the eclectic school campus.


ClientKing Alfred School

Total value£2m

CompletionSept 2011

Area600 m2

QSEC Harris

ContractorLAD Construction

Structural engineerAKT II

Building ServicesSkelly & Couch

Presentation modelBullfrog Models