Parliament Hill Secondary School

SWA is working with Parliament Hill and William Ellis secondary schools in Highgate to implement an on-going creative renewal programme to revitalise established classrooms. Our work coincides with the construction of new accommodation to the rear of the building, and a new sixth form building which fronts onto Highgate Road.

The first package of work to be completed is the Art & Design Department at Parliament Hill School. The entire second floor was refurbished to improve and provide facilities for art, design, photography and textiles.


Client: Parliament Hill Secondary School
Completion: Ongoing 
Cost: TBC 
Location: Camden, London

Specification Today

Natural and Robust

We worked with the school to develop an aesthetic approach based on the school’s colour scheme. This included the restoration of richly colourful original tiling and elegant oak parquet flooring. Bright colours are used against a white background to highlight existing architectural features and bring new vibrancy to the classrooms.

We worked closely with the school to ensure the changes fully reflected their pedagogy and teaching requirements. New teaching walls made of natural and robust plywood were designed to store teaching materials and assist the creation and presentation of art and design work.

New teaching walls
Functional and Graceful

We restored the functionality of the various existing windows, employing environmental modelling software to design optimal ventilation which is fully controllable by teachers and students. Graceful new lighting compositions create ideal levels of illumination and bring a dynamic and exciting element to the classrooms. We also created a new darkroom for the photography department.

The programme of work is ongoing and includes new music facilities in Parliament Hill School. Over at the adjacent William Ellis School, light touch tempered canopies will transform the ventilation strategy in the main hall and provide new circulation and gathering spaces for staff and pupils.

Textiles department

Photographs by Beccy Lane