News Article

Building for the Future: Extending Loyola Preparatory School

22.08.16 Untitled Document

New Extension Now Complete and Officially Opened

Updated March 2017

Bearing the school's vibrant colours, the new science and art & craft rooms at Loyola were officially opened on Friday March 10th by Mrs Eleanor Laing, Member of Parliament and House of Commons Deputy Speaker.

Mrs Laing toured the school, meeting the boys and chatting to them about her role as an MP before cutting the ribbon to reveal the brand new rooms, recently added courtesy of a rooftop extension completed as a not-for-profit exercise by Bespoke Lofts.

Headmaster Mr Nicholson was taken aback when he spotted a brass plaque naming the new rooms as the 'Nicholson Suite'. He said, "As a surprise, the suite has been dubbed with my name. I see that as a great privilege especially as on April 6th I shall be commencing my thirtieth year as the Headmaster!"

Sporting a contemporary design and filled with natural light to aid study and concentration, the rooms were opened in front of members of the Board of Governors and representatives of the designers and Bespoke Lofts.

Bespoke Lofts director Marc Loppas said, "We are delighted with the results of this project. Whilst it had its challenges, the fact that the pupils have now got a dedicated area to study these key subjects – and that they and the teachers are so impressed with everything - is really inspiring."

The extension was completed on schedule and ready for the new term in September 2016 as planned so that the site was clear for when the pupils returned. To make sure of this, we put 30 personnel on the job every day and returned out of hours to take care of the finishing touches.

As you can see from the photographs, from the outside the new part of the school blends seamlessly with the old, and inside the space that has been created is quite substantial. It has certainly made a great deal of difference to the school and we wish the pupils all the best for their future learning.

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Loyola Preparatory School in Buckhurst Hill will start a new academic year in September 2016 complete with a brand new dedicated art and technology block, thanks to the work of Bespoke Lofts.

The independent school, located in Palmerston Road, teaches boys aged 3 to 11. It has always aimed to develop the natural talents and skills of its pupils, and the new art and technology block will go a long way to assisting with this goal.

The block comprises two classrooms where pupils will now be able to focus on developing their artistic and technology skills.

It is only the second time in the school’s history that the building has been extended: the first time was back in the 1950s when a new block was added. And it is this block that has now grown upwards courtesy of a Mansard roof extension which has created a third storey.

Working with a Piece of History

The original Loyola School building is mock-Tudor and dates back to around the 19th century. Its prominent steeply pitched roof, Tudor style half-timbering, overhanging first floor, pillared porches and towering chimneys are all part of its charming character.



However, this fine historical detail did present something of a challenge for the team at Bespoke Lofts, as it was imperative that the newly added third storey would flow sympathetically with the period features of the old building.

We had to make sure it looked like the added storey had always been there. It was quite a complicated structure to deal with as it was built over a century ago, and the intricacies of the multiple roof pitches and chimneys only added to the challenge. But together with our engineer we worked out a solution whilst we were onsite so that we could fit the new around the old.

The outside will be finished so as to match the rest of the building, creating a seamless flow. And on the inside, the classrooms will be flooded with light thanks to inset dormer windows.

Health and Safety Challenges

It was also necessary to ensure we met strict regulatory guidelines concerning insulation, and we met yet another challenge in devising safe ways of working whilst the children were still attending the school, as the work commenced before they broke up for the holidays. Health and safety and young children don’t necessarily mix well, but we conducted in-depth risk assessments and set down stringent working procedures to make sure everyone in the vicinity of the works was safe at all times.

Whilst it has been quite a job, it has been a satisfying challenge and the fact that the young students are going to benefit from the new classrooms is an added benefit for everyone here at Bespoke Lofts.

The extension is due for completion in September 2016 when Loyola Preparatory School returns for the new term. Heres a selection of photos showing the story so far:


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