St. John’s Music Room – Phase One

Photo: Hayley Watkins
Photo: Hayley Watkins
Photo: Hayley Watkins
Photo: Hayley Watkins
Carrying the side wall
St John Primary School Music Room, Lacey Green

St. John’s is a small Church of England state school, located in the Buckinghamshire village of Lacey Green. The project to design and build a new Music Room for the school was initiated as Clementine’s final design thesis at the RCA in 2014, and is continuing as a long-term collaboration with the school, Grysmdyke Farm, and Webb Yates Engineers.

The first phase of the project was developed with input from construction professionals, teachers, parents, children, and a team of international design students who participated in the AA Lacey Green Visiting School. Relationships were established with regional manufacturers and suppliers who enabled the construction of the pavilion through the provision of in-kind support and expertise. The structure was prototyped and fabricated at Grysmdyke Farm, a research and fabrication facility in the village, using timber donated by Hooke Park, a managed forest owned and run by the Architectural Association. As a reciprocal frame, with each member resting on the adjacent one to create an interlocking lattice, the structural design reflects the ethos of collaboration and interdependence within the project as a whole.

The pavilion opened in 2016, and fundraising for Phase Two (when the structure will be enclosed as an interior classroom) is currently underway. The second annual Lacey Green AA Visiting School took place in July 2016 and focused on the design and fabrication of furniture for the new space. Through this process of incremental and collaborative completion, the project suggests ways in which built structure can become an ongoing framework for social and cultural infrastructure.

The project won the Sustain RCA award in the ‘Visionary Processes’ category, was highly commended in the Helen Hamlyn Design Awards, and received a RIBA McAslan Bursary for Phase Two. If you would like to become involved or support the project in any way, please do get in touch!



  • Construction: Keith Bullock
  • Engineering: Steve Webb
  • AA Visiting School Participants:
  • Elizabeth Acland
  • Wajiha Afsar
  • Giulio Ammendola
  • Alexander Assael
  • Zina Berrada
  • Gabriella Kovács
  • Lorenzo Iandelli
  • Chi Lam Leung
  • Stephen Pearcy
  • George Sinclair


  • ABC Imaging
  • AET Transport
  • Arbtech
  • Blanchford Building Supplies
  • Country Supplies
  • Direct Chemicals
  • Eland Steel
  • Expamet
  • Hawes Plant & Tool Hire
  • Helpful Hirings
  • H G Matthews Brickworks
  • Hilti
  • Hooke Park
  • Instron
  • Jewson
  • Knauf AMF
  • M H Hall & Sons Steel Fabricators
  • Montrose Steel
  • Osmo UK
  • Paperback
  • Quattro UK
  • Sherwood Sherwood Forestry Ltd
  • South Bucks Tree Surgeons Ltd
  • Speen Shop Charity Committee
  • SPH Groundworks

Thanks to: Guan Lee, Steve Webb, Keith Bullock, Nigel Tucker, Hannah Ellis, ABC Imaging, AET Transport, Arbtech, Blanchford Building Supplies, Country Supplies, Direct Chemicals, Eland Steel, Expamet, Hawes Plant & Tool Hire, Helpful Hirings, H G Matthews Brickworks, Hilti, Hooke Park, Instron, Jewson, Knauf AMF, M H Hall & Sons Steel Fabricators, Montrose Steel, Osmo UK, Paperback, Quattro Cement, Sherwood Sherwood Forestry Ltd, South Bucks Tree Surgeons Ltd, Speen Shop Charity Committee, SPH Groundworks, Elizabeth Acland, Wajiha Afsar, Giulio Ammendola, Alexander Assael, Zina Berrada, Gabriella Kovács, Lorenzo Iandelli, Chi Lam Leung, Stephen Pearcy, George Sinclair, Marina Andronescu, Valerie Bennett, Beatie Blakemore, Michael Blakemore, Ian Boll, Sarah Bowen, Charley Brentnall, Sarah Blowers, Keith Bullock, Michael Bryant, Cate Care, Charlie Cory-Wright, Alex de Rijke, Alexander Dickie, Ruth Fenton, Nicholas Figiel, Andrew Goddard, Dylan Freeth, Adrian Friend, James Green, Kevin Green, Gill Grimsey, Alexander Groves, Caroline Gulliver, Jack Hamson, Michael Hardy, Rosy Head, Eleanor Hill, Elizabeth Insley, Fiona Insley, Matthew Insley, Satoshi Isono, Iain Jamieson, Clara Kraft, Christopher Kelly, Yanchee Lau, Sam Laughton, Kate Laughton, Tom Leahy, Guan Lee, Jessie Lee, Hana Loftus, Tim Lucas, Yeoryia Manolopoulou, Jim Matthews, Tanya McCallin, Azusa Murakami, Lesley Nichols, John O’Mara, Kay Pallister, Tom Parsons, Callum Perry, Mike Piercy, Christopher Pierce, Michael Putnam, Susan Putnam, Clinton Putnam, Norma Putnam, Jez Ralph, Marcus Ratcliff, Christopher Scad, Martin Self, Toby Sherwood, Oliver Smith, Vitali Stanila, Paul Starr, Brett Steele, Peter Symons, Cherng-Min Teong, Tess Thackara, Karina Thomas, Mikkel Togsverd, David Tomlin, Nigel Tucker, Sherry Tucker, Ivar Tutturen, Ka Fai Wang, Owen Watson, Steve Webb, John Wells, Richard Wentworth, Nick Wheeler-Robinson, Stewart Whiting, James Whiting, Joby Williamson, James Wright