New-build teaching facility In grounds of Grade I Listed manor house, London

New purpose built teaching facility inserted into the grounds of a grade 1 listed manor house on the Essex borders in Romford London, within the London designated Green Belt.


To create updated, expanded facilities for a residential Bible Truth and Church Service Training facility. The new facility needs to house fully flexible teaching spaces, new dining and kitchen facilities.

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Due to the complicated nature of the site, being:

  1. Listed
  2. Within a green belt with a presumption against development, and
  3. Within a conservation area

The response to the brief was of necessity innovative. Previous interventions on this site removed the western side of the listed walled garden and altered the ground's topography. This became the springboard to re-insert the wall and create a partially subterranean building. The proposals created a split-level across the site with its dining facility at the first floor overlooking a lake on one side, flowing elegantly onto a grass roof terrace overlooking dramatic views of London. The subterranean classrooms still maintain floor to ceiling glazing the full length of the building. The flexible space can be seamlessly subdivided into four classrooms seating 150 or a single open space for 800. The re-instated walled garden is extravagantly landscaped restoring beauty and tranquillity to this urban haven with a peaceful parkland.

The scheme was granted full permission and Tait Architects are currently working with the charitable Trust to implement the scheme.



Approximately £2.8 million excluding landscape to create 920 m2 of basement and 350 m2 of first floor dining.


Green (grass) roof on subterranean ground floor, Works to listed building, Structured glass element, and the new facility becomes part of the restored western wall of the listed walled garden through which the first floor dining room looks.

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