The Bemrose School was a major multi-phased redevelopment comprising the refurbishment of a grand,  Listed 1930’s Neo Georgian school and the creation of a new build teaching block (The Oaktree Building).





The original buildings were built between 1928-1930 by local architect Alexander Macpherson and are locally listed due to the architectural and historical importance to the City of Derby.


The refurbishment works included replacement of the original single glazed crittall windows with a new double glazed heritage aluminium system, internal remodelling and upgrading of existing walls (in terms of fire and acoustics), extensive re-roofing works, a complete new mechanical and electrical services throughout, as well as resurfacing / fencing the MUGA adding floodlighting and creating a plaza.


The main teaching block was thermally upgraded with the extensive roof works striping the original slates (that were retained for reuse) and completely insulating to modern standards. 


To maintain the thin lines and proportions of the existing single glazed metal windows, a thin-line heritage profile was found that gave the thermal performance and conservation style window that was required. The new powder coated system improves the teaching conditions within the classrooms via better thermal and acoustic performance, whilst at the same time reducing the building’s carbon footprint.


As many of the original features as possible were retained in the refurbishment, including timber panelling, parquet flooring, decorative dado and picture rails, decorative plasterwork and mouldings. The original clerestory windows were utilised to aid the natural ventilation strategy.


The historical poorly executed interventions, the disparity of different window materials and their general poor condition exaggerated the rundown perception of the building.

Being able to return the main building back to its original glory, taking the opportunity to enable all of the window and doors to be unified into one single system based on the original window design, has improved the overall appearance of the school.


Working with the Conservation Officer, we sympathetically balanced maintaining the building’s heritage with the benefits of new systems in terms of performance, aesthetic, consistent appearance and social and environmental factors.