Alfriston School Swimming Pool

The project was to build a new swimming pool and refurbish an existing hall for a secondary-age Special Educational Needs (SEN) Girls' School in Buckinghamshire immediately next to the Greenbelt. The brief was to provide a landmark building that would raise the profile of the school and provide facilities that could be used by staff, pupils, parents and the local community alike.

ARK Putney Academy

The project at ARK Putney Academy was a complete refurbishment, which aimed to create an inspiring environment suitable for modern teaching at Wandsworth’s most improved secondary school. The Grade II-listed building, designed in the early 1950s by G A Trevett of the London County Council, has been described by English Heritage as ‘perhaps the finest of the large comprehensive schools built by the London County Council architects’.

Bedales School Zero Carbon Masterplan

Over the past century Bedales School has developed in an organic manner as a series of freestanding pavilions. In recent years, it has recognised the need to create a long-term strategy for potential development of the entire 120-acre estate. Skelly & Couch continued their long-standing relationship with Bedales School by being appointed to formulate a masterplan that routes a programme of capital expenditure to reduce the school’s carbon footprint to zero.

Brighton College Drama School

A new performing arts hub, constructed in a tight, listed site, features a 400 seat multi-functional theatre at its core, studio spaces and high-quality circulation areas and classrooms. It has achieved BREEAM Excellent and ‘A’ EPC rating.

Continuing our longstanding collaboration and pioneering work at Brighton College, the Performing Arts Centre (PAC) marks Skelly & Couch’s third major project at the institution, following the Music School (2015) and Sports and Science Centre (2020).

PAC is part of the college's masterplan. Rising from the green campus landscape like a white chalk cliff, it is constructed in a tight, listed site surrounded by the school’s Sir Gilbert Scott-designed main building and the Sports and Science Centre.

The building is predominantly naturally lit with highly glazed foyer, classroom, and work areas, alongside studios with high-level windows, which can be blinded for specific performance needs. In the main theatre, a large oculus provides the stage and seating area with daylight.

The building primarily relies on natural ventilation, using its layout design, atrium space, and high-level openings to encourage airflow. Extensive thermal modelling ensured effective air movement and control of summertime temperatures. In the theatre, air circulation is achieved through under-seat mechanical air supply with extract at high level.

PAC uses low-carbon renewable heating and cooling via heat pumps. It stands as the fourth building on the College’s site connected to the open loop borehole system surrounding the school’s sports ground. Additionally, a large photovoltaic array system at roof level provides renewable energy, and partially powers the heat pumps.

The performance arts centre exemplifies Brighton College's commitment to excellence. It provides a cutting-edge hub that seamlessly integrates sustainable technologies, not only fostering artistic expression but also enriching the wider community for generations to come.


Press Coverage  

Dezeen - 04 June 2024


Brighton College Music School and Theatre

Brighton College was named UK School of the Year 2013 at the Independent Schools Awards. An impressive new Music School, complete with practice rooms and a recital hall, opened in 2015, and was the first phase of a larger performing arts centre that will complete in 2021 within a collection of Grade II-listed buildings designed by the renowned British architect, George Gilbert Scott.

Brighton College School of Science and Sport

An exemplar science and sports facility has been built for prestigious independent school Brighton College. The leading international partnership, Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), won the architectural competition for the centre and selected Skelly & Couch to carry out M&E and environmental design, owing to the company's previous innovative work at Brighton College Music School and Theatre.

British Academy

Restoration and improvements to the Grade I-listed home of The British Academy


The British Academy is the UK’s national body for the humanities and social sciences – with a voice that champions the study of peoples, cultures and societies, past, present and future. Situated within the Grade I-listed Nash-designed Carlton House Terrace, the building lies between The Mall and Pall Mall in London’s Mayfair.

The ongoing project aims to restore the double-height basements, creating new 220-capacity events spaces. These flexible spaces with state-of-the-art digital technologies enhance the Academy’s facilities for lectures, meetings, and events. Improvements also include remodelled WCs along with upgraded access to and within the ground floor.

Skelly & Couch led the survey of existing services to plan diversions and demolitions of works alongside an extensive review of archive record drawings to understand the existing systems in place.

The building’s efficiency was improved through the installation of new double glazing, achieving a 40% reduction in heat loss. Furthermore, natural ventilation was maximised by using direct connections to the outside for air paths.

Bespoke designs of new mechanical and electrical systems were undertaken to suit the constraints of the existing building and its listing.

A reversible air source heat pump replaces gas boiler heating to provide low-carbon heating to the events spaces. This is facilitated by thermal zoning, a component of the new building energy management system which includes full fault diagnostics and energy sub-metering.

Heat reclaim mechanical ventilation enhances this setup by supplying filtered air while retaining most of the energy already used to heat the building. The auditorium ventilation system's design was refined to enhance architectural and structural coordination within the limited space and to address impacts on the listed building.

Additional technologies include LED lighting with occupancy, daylight, and dimming control, along with reduced hot water consumption through low-flow water fittings.

The refurbishment of the lower floors of the British Academy marks a significant step in the Academy's mission to enhance both physical and intellectual access to the building, facilitating new conversations, new connections, and new ways of thinking within its historic walls.

Cambridge House - Birkbeck, University of London

Skelly & Couch led environmental engineering on the refurbishment of Cambridge House, a 1920s former car showroom on the Euston Road, transformed into a flagship building for Birkbeck, University of London.

Caryl Churchill Theatre at Royal Holloway, University of London

The £2.5 million theatre in north London, named after playwright Caryl Churchill, was built beside Grade II-listed Sutherland House as an extension to the University’s drama department. The theatre seats audience of 175 people on two levels, with a third level for technical operation, and features a welcoming foyer, separate rehearsal and teaching spaces, dressing rooms and workshop areas. 

Centre for Life – Creativity Zone / Making Studio

New creative and exhibition space for Life Science Centre in Newcastle.

Page 1 of 7