Invited competition to design a series of teaching facilities for Haberdashers Aske’s school.
The brief was ambitious and detailed including provision of new drama performance and rehearsal spaces, new art and DT facilities, new Maths and English classrooms along with improved administration areas.
The heart of the school was a fine listed 17th C building, around which a number of disparate blocks had been assembled in a rather haphazard manner. There was no clear sense of arrival and links between the buildings were confused and unattractive. Whilst a few of the newer buildings were well designed and interesting, others were poorly constructed and disappointingly bland.
Our approach was to create a new quadrangle – facilitated by the demolition of some previous sheds – which included a covered walkway and established a series of new pathways through the school; A new formal entrance was proposed and the facades of the buildings that formed the quadrangle were designed as a deliberate counterpoint to the variety of styles elsewhere on the campus.
The structure was to be formed from CLT panels, faced with brick to respond to the original listed building. The simplicity of the façade with its carefully oriented windows allowed views over the best of the campus whilst screening less successful outbuildings.
Internally the art block was top lit, classrooms were carefully designed to maximise pupil involvement and the drama facilities organised to make use of the existing main hall.
In the end none of the invited practices were selected to take the project forward although our designs and layout were used in a revised scheme developed by a new architectural team.
Our approach was to create a new quadrangle – facilitated by the demolition of some previous sheds – which included a covered walkway and established a series of new pathways through the school