Buttress have worked with Wycliffe College for a number of years, helping to develop their school estate. In this time we have undertaken strategic plans for both the Prep and Senior Schools and have delivered a number of capital projects including a new Upper Prep School, Etheridge Hall and a new co-educational boarding House, Wards House which opens for the Autumn Term 2017.
Etheridge Hall, the new upper prep building at Wycliffe College, is designed on a prominent site opposite the historic Ryeford Hall, and in a conservation area.
A contemporary, clean design, the new building uses the relationship with the listed hall to connect visually and functionally, effectively re-using a neglected corner of the school estate. The form and scale of the new building is subservient in response to Ryeford Hall, retaining the prominence of this local landmark; and the restrained palette of natural materials creates a refined and elegant addition to the mature landscape and historic built environment.
The new building provides eight state of the art teaching spaces together with a common room and ancillary spaces for upper prep students. It is naturally ventilated, highly energy efficient and highly insulated which achieves part L compliance without the need for on-site renewable energy production.
Prep School Masterplan
Our designs for Etheridge Hall were underpinned by a masterplanning exercise. We reviewed the use of existing buildings at Wycliffe College, taking into account the immediate and future needs of the school, and also looking at the opportunities offered by the recent purchase of adjacent land.
Provision of a clear definition between the lower, middle and upper schools was a key outcome of the study and was incorporated into the strategy for development; whilst also seeking to increase the number of students across the lower and upper prep.
An identified site opposite Ryeford Hall became Etheridge Hall, whilst potential sites for boarding accommodation as future phases of development were also identified.
Senior School Masterplan
Following the successful delivery of Etheridge Hall, Buttress were asked to undertake a strategic masterplanning excercise at the Senior School. Again we reviewed the use, condition and potential within the existing estate and proposed development opportunities that support the long term vision of the School.
An initial development project supported by the masterplanning exercise is the design of Wards House, a new co-educational boarding house with a flexible accommodation model.
The new building replaces and improves upon an existing boarding house and provides flexible and modern boarding to the school. Particular attention has been paid to the design of a room model that is flexible and adaptable, and can easily change to meet a varied boarder profile each year. The current model houses 55 boarders in a mixture of single and twin en-suite rooms and 32 flexi-boarder and day boarder rooms. The main aim is to allow flexibility in the number and type of boarders, and to be able to serve as a single or co-educational house.
The material choices are sympathetic to the College’s historic buildings with buff-multi brick walls, crisp zinc roof and deep reveals to the windows picked out in pale stone; which add depth to, and enliven the brick facades.
In plan the building is angled, sitting amongst the existing trees on site. Its scale is articulated and visually reduced by breaking the roofline with chimneys that house extensive ventilation systems, and by creating an extruded entrance to the ground floor.
Wards House will open for the Autumn Term 2017.