A campaign launched by former students of Elliott School in Putney, south London, is to include a protest outside Wandsworth Council’s Town Hall, on Wednesday 29 February, 7pm. This is scheduled to coincide with the Council’s ‘Finance and Corporate Resources Overview and Scrutiny Committee’ meeting set to discuss the future of the School and its Grade II-listed building. The concerns are shared by the Society and The Architects’ Journal who commented and reported on the proposals back in January.
Elliott School could be partially demolished under £22 million proposals to turn it into an Ark Schools academy. The 1956 building is a very important example of post war school architecture: it is a very rare example of a listed post-war school and recognised as the finest of LCC’s in-house comprehensive school designs both for its overall planning but also for its wealth of decorative detail. It is particularly noteworthy as the only surviving and listed sample of John Bancroft’s work, part of his early involvement in the schools division of the LCC, and also for inspiring an interest in architectural education to its students. The school’s surrounding fields are part of the listed building’s setting and play a key role in the appreciation of the building’s skilful massing, but, sadly, these too are under threat according to the current proposals.
The Society stressed back in January that any necessary alterations would need to be very carefully designed and early consultation with all stakeholders, including the Society, would be essential if the special significance of this exceptional school is to be safeguarded. We urge the Council to make any future plans for the building public and allow for sincere consultation.