Project Slideshow

Private Girl's School

What's the project then?

The design and construction of a two storey extension to the English Department comprising six classrooms, two seminar rooms and associated book stores as well as a two storey Science Laboratory block for a private girls' school.

How much then?

All done and dusted for £2.2M.

What did Studio Mode do then?

Studio Mode's director Mark Maffey was the project architect for the combined classroom and science block project, responsible for both the design and the production of all concept, planning, client approval and production information drawings. Mark led a multi disciplined team including quantity surveyor, mechanical and electrical designers, structural engineer, landscape designer and specialist arboriculturist. This prestigious school is set in 300 acres of Capability Brown designed parkland and has been awarded conservation area status. The design carefully respected and responded to the adjacent listed buildings (where several styles sat cheek by jowl). Special attention was paid to the creation of space between buildings which was a vital component to the success of the design. The deep plans pointed at the possibility of mechanically ventilated rooms. Mark was keen to avoid this and developed a 3D solution in which each classroom was vented naturally by way of its own "chimney stack". Each classroom is given individual control of its environment. Air movement over the building creates negative pressure in the chimney and draws air out of the room. Opening both the chimney vents and the perimeter windows thus creates a through draught and the ability to naturally ventilate the building. In conjunction with this Mark worked closely with the landscape architect to ensure that the adjacent planting scheme was both colourful and fragrant in order that the naturally ventilated rooms could be perfumed by the adjacent planting scheme. In order to avoid the dark inner corridor Mark located roof lights at the second floor level together with glass pavement lights within the first floor construction that allowed natural light to filter down to the ground floor corridor.

Any tricky bits?

Many of the school buildings are set within a well established landscape. Close liaison with the school's arboriculturist was necessary to ensure the location of the buildings both delivered the functional brief, and created pleasant spaces between buildings whilst not adversely affecting the adjacent landscape. By combining lots of listening with careful planning and consultation a solution was found that was agreeable to everyone.

Any good then?

Without doubt. This sensitive urban landscape design incorporates numerous historic references and has used these to create something that has a beauty in its own right.

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