Our Lady & St Joseph Catholic Primary School

New school and family centre, London

When two London primary schools merged to keep up with local demand, they needed a brand new school facility that would provide inspiring surroundings for current and future generations.

During the creation of Our Lady & St Joseph Catholic Primary School, the ability to continue teaching on the school site while construction took place was paramount. Combining our team’s creative minds and our extensive experience of developing sites in occupation, we ensured that neither the safety nor education of pupils would be compromised during the construction of this inspiring new space.


Project: Fit Out, Construction

Sector: Education, Historic

Size: 48,000 sq ft

Programme: 74 Weeks

Contract: JCT Minor Works

Procurement: Two-stage


Architect: Green Tea Architects

PM: Green Tea Architects

PQS: Synergy

Services: Pinnacle

Structural: F J Samuely and Partners

The Project

The merger of Holy Family Catholic Primary in Poplar and Our Lady Catholic Primary School in Limehouse created a need for a new superschool, family centre and caretaker accommodation. This area of East London is of significant historical interest; as well as being in an area that was heavily bombed during the 2nd World War, the school’s location traverses a 19th-century burial ground. Because of this, the project required us to employ specialist knowledge and mitigations during the excavation phase.

Construction of the new facilities commenced during the school term on the existing Poplar school site and was split into three phases: the nursery block, family centre and primary school. To accommodate the pupils throughout the build we prepared and constructed a temporary school. This enabled us to demolish the existing building and replace it with a striking cross-laminated timber (CLT) frame for the new school.


Historical Expertise

To mitigate the risks and challenges of this historical site, we employed unexploded ordnance (UXO) and archaeological watching briefs to ensure the safe and sensitive handling of any discoveries during the excavation phase.


Safe Segregation

Prioritising the safety of the children, staff, parents and visitors who still needed daily access to the site was paramount. Creating considered site access points and segregating works areas with robust hoarding helped to keep all site users safe, and shielded them from dust and debris created during the construction.

A colourful outdoor play area


Convenient Timetabling

To reduce any disruptions to the children’s learning we worked closely with the school to plan a programme of works that coincided with its educational agenda and timetable.

A welcoming reception desk


Precision Logistics

The erection of the CLT with a large mobile crane, deliveries arriving on 18-metre vehicles, and groundworks all running concurrently, required careful coordination and control to maintain the programme and ensure safety standards were upheld.

Colourful balcony and supporting beams
A bird's eye view of a multi-coloured geometric pattern on the floor outside

8build provided an excellent service throughout the procurement and build period. They approached all tasks with great professionalism and competence. They managed change exceptionally well and completed the works within the overall contract period and budget.

Our Lady & St Joseph Catholic Primary School

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