NLCS Ideas Hub and New Entrance

NLCS steams ahead with new Ideas Hub

North London Collegiate School (NLCS) is an independent day school for girls aged 4 to 18, well known for its high academic achievement. In 2016 we won an invited design competition to masterplan the campus and modernise facilities in line with the school’s impressive ambitions to be zero carbon by 2050.

Phase 1 of the masterplan is a main entrance building that includes an exciting new concept: The Ideas Hub.

The school wanted to provide facilities that match those expected by universities, preparing students for their next step and giving them a chance to shine. The Ideas Hub – which stands for innovation, design, engineering, art and science – is a generous, resource-rich environment for learning that allows STEAM subjects to interlink and integrate, inspiring the girls to solve problems in creative and unique ways.

The new building relocates the main entrance of the school from the other side of the site. Already the main entry point for 75% of pupils as well as people using the sports centre, it is a sensible move that provides a secure and celebratory welcome, as well as a logical starting point for navigating the campus. Administration offices are brought together to provide a more efficient way for staff to work in the heart of the school. This phase also includes an extension to an old Tractor Barn to improve facilities for staff.

The building fits neatly into the site, wrapping around the much-loved Art School and offering glimpses towards the central pond. The volume corresponds carefully to the Art School and surrounding buildings, while materiality reflects the dominance of brick and the lightness of Portland Stone in existing buildings.


ClientNorth London Collegiate School

ContractorFeltham Construction

Project managerMetis Projects

Cost consultantArcadis

Services engineerMax Fordham

AcousticsMax Fordham

Structural and civil engineerPrice & Myers

LandscapeBradley-Hole Schoenaich Landscape

Planning consultantIceni

Principal DesignerRLF