Twyford Abbey

Brand new secondary school on a tricky but expansive site in west London

In late 2016 Walters & Cohen won an invited competition to design a new co-educational secondary school for 1150 pupils aged 11-18 years old at the site of Twyford Abbey in Ealing, west London.

The Abbey is a Grade II listed building close to Hangar Lane Station that was built in the early 19th century. Left vacant since 1988, it had fallen into a serious state of disrepair and was on Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register. Our proposal refurbished the Abbey for administrative and sixth form use, and introduced new buildings for teaching, sport and dining facilities. At more than 54,000 square metres, the extensive grounds provide great opportunities for outdoor learning, making the most of the historic Walled Garden, open parkland and mature woodland.

The site posed three key design challenges: it is adjacent to the North Circular, so it was important to mitigate against noise and air pollution; it is on Metropolitan Open Land, so required close discussion with the local planners and GLA; and it featured heritage assets that, with careful enhancement, would make a significant contribution to the school’s unique identity.

The project presented a rare opportunity to design a school from scratch – architecturally and pedagogically – on a beautiful site that captures the imagination. We enjoyed working with an enthusiastic and forward-thinking client and design team.


ClientTwyford Abbey LLP

Area16,095 m2

QS & Project managerFanshawe

Structural engineerPrice & Myers

Building ServicesMax Fordham LLP

LandscapeBradley-Hole Schoenaich

Planning/heritage consultantMontagu Evans

Arboricultural consultantQuaife Woodlands

Transport consultantWSP