St Paul's Girls' School
In 1894 the Worshipful Company of Mercers put their considerable expertise behind the foundation of a new girls’ school. Having been the trustees Dean John Colet’s St Paul’s School since 1509, they considered a number of alternative sites in Hampstead and Kensington but Brook Green was selected and building work began at the turn of the century with Miss Frances Ralph Gray as the first Head Mistress in 1903.
With facilities ever increasing Brook Green became very congested especially following the construction of a new sports hall in 1999 and the school was desperate for more space.
Having been known to the Mercers since winning the competition to build the Thomas Telford School in 1989 and subsequently the Wathen Hall at St Paul’s School across the river in Barnes, BHM were asked to look at the site and produce a master plan to see the school into the 21st century. The outcome resulted in a number of significant changes to the school. The existing theatre, the Celia Johnson Theatre, had been constructed in the south-east corner of the school slightly inside most of the boundary and leaving much unused but valuable space between the building and the site edge. BHM devised a plan to fill in all the spare space which provided the school with a new modern theatre, proper green rooms and rehearsal spaces, an additional changing room and six new much needed classrooms alleviating the pressure on the original classrooms around the Great Hall.
The Great Hall itself was refurbished and turned into a more appropriate space for performance with almost invisible acoustic measures and modern theatre lighting.