© Jack Hobhouse
In many British private schools great importance is attached to sport. This is true also of the City of London Freemen’s School in Ashtead, to the south-west of the British capital. In 2014 the school’s indoor swimming pool was destroyed by fire. Hawkins Brown, who were already involved in the phased renovation of the school buildings, were commissioned to provide a replacement building as quickly as possible. To save construction time and to maximise the amount of prefabrication, the architects decided on a timber structure using large glulam frames and stiffening ceiling and wall panels of cross-laminated timber. It was erected on site in the space of only three weeks.