Arnold House School celebrates first half term as newly enlarged independent school for boys

Arnold House School in St John’s Wood, North-West London has enjoyed a successful first half-term as a newly expanded school, following the launch of its Pre-Reception (3+) and Reception classes in a fully renovated, and recently acquired, nearby building. The comprehensive re-fit project of The Huxley Building on Marlborough Place was carried out by BRAC Contracts which has a rich heritage of completing school-based construction projects across both the state and independent sectors.

Having acquired the freehold ownership of the building, which had previously been used as a teacher training school, the governing body at Arnold House School engaged the services of Cottrell and Vermeulen Architecture to create a vision for how the building could be transformed to meet not only the needs of the newly expanded early years provision, but to also provide enhanced learning facilities for the entire school. With that vision in place, the architects recommended BRAC Contracts to deliver the transformation given the team’s existing experience in the education sector.

Work on site commenced in July 2021 and with the launch of the expanded early years’ provision scheduled for September, there was a lot to complete before the new school year. Adam Clark, MD at BRAC Contracts comments:

“The Huxley Building was acquired by Arnold House in order to expand its learning resources and facilities. With a target opening date of the first day of the new academic year in September, there was a real focus on ensuring that the work was completed on time and that it provided a safe and appropriate environment for the new incoming year groups.

“Having worked on numerous school-based projects, this wasn’t an issue for the BRAC team.”

The Huxley Building is comprised of spacious classrooms, office space and a beautiful drawing room that leads onto a mature garden making it perfect for early years’ education.

The refit project was focused primarily on reconfiguring two adjoining rooms to make an enlarged dining room area; the supply and fit of a new stainless steel catering kitchen; ceiling sound proofing to two new classrooms; the re-fit of an existing disabled access toilet, along with the installation of new pupil toilet facilities and exterior work to meet the bespoke safety and security needs of a school setting.

Speaking on behalf of Arnold House School, newly appointed Headmaster Mr Giles Tollit, says:

“An expansion of this kind is incredibly exciting for Arnold House School and having acquired The Huxley Building a year ago, it’s fantastic to now see it come to life with the new Pre-Reception and Reception pupils enjoying the new facilities.

“Whilst the building had a heritage linked to education, it was important that work was carried out to not only accommodate our new pupils, but to also enhance the facilities for the whole school community. The school’s Governing Body chose to engage the services of Cottrell and Vermeulen Architecture knowing that their experience of designing and building educational facilities is award-winning. Through them, we were introduced to the team at BRAC who came highly recommended.

“Importantly, given our September launch date, the BRAC team worked proactively over the summer to not only deliver the work on time, but under budget too! It’s great to now see new life being breathed in to The Huxley Building and the pupils are enjoying their new surroundings – especially the green and red washrooms which have proven to be a big hit!”


The Huxley Building was officially opened by Giles Tollit with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.


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