Developments to the Dulwich College Campus


In 2016 the completion of The Laboratory has been a major milestone in the delivery of our overall campus Master Plan as set out in the College’s Strategic Development Plan.

The Board of Governors has given approval for new capital projects which will enable us to create an environment in which our pupils, colleagues and the wider community can thrive and learn:
  • Essential refurbishments to the Barry Buildings (end dates are provisional at this stage)
    • External work from 19 December 2016 to 31 January 2018
    • Internal work, including 40 classrooms, from 31 March 2017 to 5 July 2018
  • A link between Orchard and Old Blew House and a new Common Room for the Junior boarding house with work from January to July 2017

The main impact of the work will be from scaffolding around buildings, noise, contractor movement, restrictions on parking, and visual aesthetics. Careful planning will mean that disruption will be managed and limited as far as possible and particularly during exam periods. We are entirely confident that the long term teaching and learning benefits will far and away outweigh any short term disturbance.

The following provides more detail on the planned works and information will be updated as work progresses:

Barry Buildings


The Works

  • Repair and replacement of terracotta and stonework on the roof of the Centre Block (finials, pinnacles, balustrades etc)
  • Refurbishment, which includes cleaning, of the exterior facades of the Centre Block
  • Repair/replacement of all windows
  • Refurbishment and cleaning of south and east facades of North Block. The other facades of North and South Blocks were refurbished in the 1990s.
  • Spot repairs to other elevations of North and South Blocks (accessed via scaffolding towers)
  • Repairs to North and South Block roofs (accessed via scaffolding towers)
  • Replacement/refurbishment of the windows of the Centre Block extension – Wodehouse Library, Common Room etc
  • If possible, cleaning only (not refurbishment) of the Cloisters exterior

Why Must We Do This?

Much of the stonework and terracotta at high level on the Centre Block is in a fragile condition; external decorations are attached to the building by Victorian ironwork which is rusting and at risk of deterioration: an exclusion zone is in place now around the Centre Block and debris netting is wrapped around particularly vulnerable items. The risks increase with every cold season’s freeze and thaw and we are advised by surveyors to carry out repairs before another winter. The outside of the buildings are affected by soot and erosion from before the Clean Air Act was introduced in 1956. Pointing and brickwork is deteriorating, resulting in water ingress and damp. Maintenance of and repairs to the roofs of North and South Blocks are necessary.It is sensible that we should take advantage of the significant costs of scaffolding around the Centre Block for the essential roof works to clean and refurbish the facades, as well as completing restoration work begun in the 1990s on the North Block. The 400th anniversary of the College’s foundation and the 150th anniversary of the construction of the New College provide a coincidental but appropriate moment in the College’s history to upgrade the Barry Buildings.


Scaffolding will be erected around the Barry Buildings from ground level to above the roof in phases:
  • Centre Block; north, south and east elevations (detailed schedule below): January - December 2017
  • North Block; south and east elevations: March - December 2017
  • Centre Block; west elevation (including interventions in the Wodehouse Library): June - December 2017
  • North Block; north and west elevations and roof: April - August 2017 (scaffold towers and hoists only)
  • South Block; roof and windows:July - November 2017 (scaffold towers and hoists only)

Erection of scaffolding around the Centre Block main elevations will commence in 2017 as follows:

  • 5 January: East (College Road side)
  • 26 January: North
  • 23 February: South
  • 19 June: West


The scaffolding will be wrapped in a plain white monoflex material, enclosing the structure. Due to cost and the further reduction of light, a printed image on the outside of the wrap will not be procured.

North Gravel – parking and access to the North Cloister

A compound for the external works contractor will be set up on the North Gravel from 19 December 2016, at the start of the Christmas holidays, taking up the entire length of the North Cloister. Some 30% of North Gravel parking space will be lost. We are looking at options to provide limited additional parking elsewhere and Upper School boys’ parking will be relocated to the Sports Centre car park. Access to the North Cloister from the North Gravel will not be possible throughout the entire period of the works.

Disruption & Noise

Disruption will be limited as much as possible and carefully controlled. We will discuss detailed timings with the contractors and limit interference as much as possible. There will be careful coordination with the Exams Team. Obscure window film will be used where necessary to avoid interference.


The Works

  • Refurbishment of 40 classrooms and 10 associated teaching staff offices in North, South and Centre Blocks
  • Refurbishment of stairwells, corridors and staff toilets in teaching areas of North and South Blocks (not the ground floor of South Block)
  • Refurbishment of pupil WCs in North Block
  • Replacement and upgrading of the entire heating infrastructure in North, South and Centre Blocks, including pipework, plant rooms and radiators

Why Must We Do This?

The Barry Building classrooms are essentially unchanged since the 1960s, with the subsequent addition of limited IT. The project delivers a comprehensive refurbishment of the College’s historic teaching spaces, which cannot be addressed in piecemeal fashion by routine maintenance and addresses the need to upgrade and improve control of the heating system throughout the Barry Buildings.


Works will proceed one floor at a time, with department(s) on individual floors being decanted into portacabins by the Lord George playground. These classrooms are well furnished, efficient teaching spaces.
Each floor is expected to take 11-12 weeks to complete and works will be delivered on each floor in phases. It is probable that Centre Block classrooms will be refurbished simultaneously with another floor during the summer. Batches of work per floor are:

2017: April-July; July-October; October-January;
2018: January-March; March-July.

Disruption & Noise

Other than pipework installations and other drilling, which will be planned as far as possible outside lesson times, the works will involve normal building activities and are not expected to be particularly noisy.
Contractors’ Compound
A second compound, separate to that for the external works already in place on the North Gravel, will be required, probably in the area east of North Block (College Road side).

Orchard and Old Blew House Link


Confined to the area of Orchard and OBH, these works will have some impact on boarders and boarding house staff but will be a discrete build within a segregated area. Disruption will be kept to a minimum and will be managed in liaison with the Boarding Housemaster.

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