Reading Borough Council
The proposals were to design a multifunction hall, drama studio, main foyer, changing rooms and ancillary accommodation. The existing school buildings comprise four Grade II listed buildings, the 18th Century Mansion House, Stable Block, Barn and walled garden together with more recent extensions. The new hall is capable of accommodating 1,000 standing students for a whole school assembly, 600 seated spaces for performances and half school assemblies, 200 students for examination purposes and a drama studio to help ensure the continued and uninterrupted delivery of the curriculum. The new facilities also enhance and develop the drama and performing arts curriculum which also brings benefits to the wider community. The context has been important in siting the new building and our approach to the materials and design. From the outset, the brief called for a unique building which draws attention to itself and contrasts with the more traditional surroundings. This proved an acceptable approach in the negotiations with planners and English Heritage.
Photographs by Dennis Gilbert/View