Client: Uppingham School
Date: Completed 1995
The commission to design an Art, Design & Technology building was won in an invited competition. The new building joins the school theatre, science laboratories and maths block to form a second campus at the west end of the town. The school’s requirements were ambitious for a construction budget of less than £1m; a large external envelope was required which was economical but commensurate with a desire for lasting quality.
The centre forms the west side of a new quadrangle. The two-storey rectangular building is north lit (and glare free) by a series of monitor windows in each bay, culminating in a spectacular but economical sloping patent glazed wall over the entire north end, giving views from inside over a very pleasant garden. The building is entered from the east by an all glass storm lobby with a display plinth to “shop window” the work of the department, the display continuing in the entrance hall/exhibition area.
Internally, the first floor is arranged as a mezzanine around an open well at the centre of the building where the main staircase rises to a bridge linking either side of the first floor. The departments surround the central space on both levels in visually open plan arrangement, but with the workshops behind glazed sound-reducing screens and soundabsorbing ceilings. The arrangement maximises supervision and awareness of activities within the centre.