Monthly Archives: August, 2016

Royal Grammar School, Guildford

The Farnborough team have successfully secured their appointment to the 2nd stage of Phase 3 Enabling Works and Spine Extension Project at the Royal Grammar School, Guildford.  This project will initially enable space to be freed up in the centre of the school to enable a second floor extension to be constructed along the spine of the school with an additional East Courtyard extension.  Once the second stage works are concluded works will commence on site in October of this year.  The Client’s Project Architect is IID, with whom we have recently successfully completed St. Helen’s School, Northwood and Tormead School also in Guildford.dining

St Helen’s School Northwood Completed for a Delighted Client

St Helen’s School is 8.4ha site and is located close to Northwood commercial centre with the southern boundary and principal points of access fronting Green Lane. The other three boundaries are surrounded by typical and relatively quiet North London residential areas with tree-lined roads and substantial properties.  The site is well-maintained and has a generous and pleasant character with a significant number of mature trees, some of which are protected. It slopes relatively gently from north to south and the long views enhance the sense of openness and help to create an expansive feel. The various meandering paths also contribute to its relaxed and informal feel, together with the open undesignated grassed areas. The Headmistress notes that, “We are proud of our open and attractive site – I would like any new buildings to enhance it and to provide suitable access.”  The site sits within the Frithwood-Northwood conservation area, the boundaries of which include the fringes of three of the site’s boundaries, including a number but not all of the existing buildings. The existing buildings, arranged principally around the site perimeter, reflect the School’s development and heritage through a mixture of styles and ages. The overriding impression is traditional, with the Sports Complex (completed in 2006) being the only exception.

St Helen’s School was founded by Miss May Rowland Brown in 1899. The School House building has taken its current form over many years of redevelopment. The original School House building was dedicated in 1902 and the Old Hall was constructed adjacent in 1910 to facilitate the expanding school numbers. The frontage of School House is set back from Eastbury Road. It features red/orange brick walls, plain clay tiling to the roofs, white painted windows and gable ends with white render and black painted timber. Various additions, including dormers with tiled cladding, have been added over the years. The new entrance is to be situated in one of the more recent extensions adjoining the Old Hall. The extension seeks to enhance and complement the Eastbury Road frontage, providing a clear entrance to improve the School’s presence whilst maintaining a strong connection to the existing building. The form of the new entrance extension takes its influence from the gable end adjacent and the arts and crafts style architecture which characterises the Conservation Area. The materials have predominantly been chosen to match the existing buildings, with some high-quality new materials to complement these.  Internally we have exposed the original Old Hall timber beams and sandblasted them to bring them back to their former glory. The clerestory windows which had been bricked up to the west have been opened up to create a visual link between the new extension and the Old Hall.  The project brief from the School was to create a more fitting entrance to the Main School building as approached from Eastbury Road, and to take this opportunity to rationalise circulation and to improve the internal arrangements of Senior Management, Teaching and Staff facilities, by coherently arranging them around the new entrance. Associated with the rearrangement of internal spaces are modifications to the external spaces to reinforce the pedestrian approach from Eastbury Road, to improve visitor parking layout and to upgrade the central courtyard.  The total Gross Internal Area of the extension is 19sqm.  The cloister which faces onto the courtyard was demolished as part of the works and replaced with an enclosed cloister which adds an additional 61sqm to the development and a lightwell has been infilled which brings the total additional area to 85sqm.  The new entrance to the Main School Building sits centrally within the former Old Hall and the more recent 2-storey entrance extension to the Eastbury Road façade. The glazed element at first floor level forms part of a seminar / meeting room and affords visitors with a clear sense of school activity. The glazed entrance gives views from the outside of the School into its central courtyard thus revealing yet further activity and the good quality external spaces within the heart of the Main School building.  The height of the ridge of the new entrance structure sits just below the top of the gable end and well below the level of the highest ridge of the original school building. The enclosed cloister to the rear is of a similar scale to the existing cloister.