Client story

Refurbishing Dulwich College London, UK

External restoration of historic buildings


Preserving historic buildings while ensuring excellent facilities for future generations

Asset type

Restoration of an active school site

JLL has completed a major programme of external restoration work to the Grade II star listed, Barry Buildings at Dulwich College, in collaboration with heritage architects, Julian Harrap Architects. Named after architect Charles Barry Jr, the buildings are the most prominent teaching site at the college and date from 1870 when the College moved to its present site.

The external work included the repair and replacement of severely weathered terracotta and stonework at roof level, with like-for-like replacement of many of the original terracotta finials, pinnacles and lattice panels; refurbishment, pointing repairs and cleaning of six of the principal exterior facades; repair and refurbishment of all windows; repairs to the roofs; and cleaning of the Cloister elevations. A substantial project in its own right, major refurbishment works were also discovered to be essential to the central ‘Lantern’ spire feature of the main building, involving significant repairs to its underlying structure, as well as works to renew roofing and timberwork.

JLL provided project management, contract administration, cost management and CDM services, working alongside Julian Harrap Architects and specialist engineers, The Morton Partnership. A key challenge of the project was to manage the change process linked to the ‘discoverables’, as close inspection of the buildings revealed the true condition of many elements.

Throughout the project, JLL and main contractors, PAYE, were sensitive to the challenges associated with a restoration project in an active school environment, especially when in the midst of the all-important exam season. Working closely with the College’s own teams, considerable efforts were made to reduce the impact of the scaffolding and visual aesthetics, noise and contractor movement.

Helen Gough, lead director, Project and Development Services UK, commented: “Working on the Dulwich College campus, an active school site, was an exciting challenge for JLL. Our focus over the course of the two-year project, was to help the College achieve its project goal of essential restoration of its rich historical architecture. The external restoration of the building provided some unique challenges but through careful management, and selecting the right specialists to partner with, we have been able to deliver the project to the highest standard with limited impact on the day to day running of the college. We look forward to working with other schools, on similar projects, in the future.”

Simon Yiend, Chief Operating Officer of Dulwich College, commented: “The College has a responsibility to preserve its historic buildings whilst ensuring excellent facilities for future generations of pupils. The work was essential to restore the fabric of the Barry Buildings and ensure their continuing glory for at least another 150 years. JLL successfully managed cost constraints whilst managing the programme within a busy school, and were crucial in procuring the work competitively and ensuring close control of a heritage project that was on budget and on time. The project has been a real success, resulting from excellent collaboration of the professional teams with the College’s own team.”