St. John’s is a small state primary school, located in the Buckinghamshire village of Lacey Green. I spoke to Clementine Blakemore abut the project as part of Wood Work, a series devised for the Building Centre. I heard how the music pavilion for the school was initiated as Clementine’s final design thesis at the RCA in 2014, and continued as a long-term collaboration with the local community. Focusing on low energy consumption, natural light, renewable materials and community involvement, the project received a RIBA McAslan Bursary, and was shortlisted for the Wood Awards, AJ Small Projects Awards and RIBA Journal MacEwen Awards. The double-pitched timber structure, which was designed with Webb Yates Engineers, is formed of CNC-milled timber members assembled as an interlocking lattice. Phase One was prototyped and fabricated at Grymsdyke Farm, a research and fabrication facility in the village, and was self-built using timber donated by Hooke Park, a managed forest owned and run by the Architectural Association. Fundraising for the second phase began in partnership with the school’s Parents’ Association in 2017, enabling the structure to be enclosed as a much-needed classroom.
Photograph by Will Scott
Since founding her own practice in 2016, Clementine Blakemore has focused on producing buildings that are inventive, inclusive and have a positive impact on the wider community. Clients include the Design Museum, the Dorset Wildlife Trust, and the UK Green Building Council.