Highgate School 
Mallinson Sports Centre
Client: Highgate School
Architect: Ed Toovey Architects

The project involved the refurbishment of the existing MSC sports hall and the adjacent pool hall building together with the addition of a new link building inbetween the two existing structures to increase the sport facilities and to provide a state of the art sport centre for the school.


Extensive strengthening works were designed for the existing masonry diaphragm walled structures to create the new window openings and the new staircase opening through the existing r.c. slabs. The new link building was designed as a steel framed structure, with long spanning steel beams supporting composite slabs to form the new sport areas, designed to handle the vibrations arising from these activities. To maintain access between the pool hall and the new link building, a long spanning Vierendell girder was designed to support the long spanning floor beams. The roof was also designed with long spanning steel beams, but these were supporting a light timber joisted structure. Furthermore, the roof required to span across the existing single storey structure. This was achieved with long spanning Warren type trusses, with hangers spanning down to the existing roof level to support the new façade, directly above the existing structures. The main façade was designed with high portal frames and strict lateral deflection criterias to avoid cracking of the stone cladding of the main façade.

The substructures were designed to the rear with an r.c raft foundation, while to the front a series of r.c. ground beams on piles supported the portal frames to the front. This approach was chosen due to the fact that the pilling rigs were not able to access the rear of the existing buildings and there was no capacity to crane them into position. Special attention was awarded during the design process to align the settlements of the two different types of foundations to ensure the new structure would settle uniformly. R.c. propped cantilevered walls made the retaining structures where the ground slopped.


The project was due for completion in 2018 however it was halted due to financial implications, but it will be revisited in the near future.

© 2016 Pringuer-James Consulting Engineers