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    Music School, King's College School Wimbledon


    A handcrafted music school integrated into an historic campus

    Location:London, United Kingdom
    Size:2,160 m²
    Client:King's College School
    Awards:RIBA National Award;
    RIBA Regional Award;
    Civic Trust Award: Commendation;
    AJ Architecture Award;
    Structural Timber Award;
    Brick Development Association;
    New London Architecture Award: Commended.

    Founded in 1829, King’s College School Wimbledon is one of the UK’s leading schools. The new Music School provides exceptional new facilities and was part of an ongoing development masterplan to improve facilities across the whole campus.

    The Music School has been sensitively designed to complement the larger school buildings and sit alongside neighbouring Arts and Crafts houses. Three linked but individual buildings, are arranged in an informal and permeable layout and positioned amongst a group of existing trees, to create an integrated ‘campus within a campus’. A single storey L-shaped foyer links the three buildings: a triple-height auditorium with seating for 200 and a stage for a 70 piece orchestra; a double-height rehearsal space for 70 musicians above a pair of classrooms; and a linear 2 storey block accommodating individual practice rooms, teaching rooms and offices.

    Both auditorium and rehearsal room feature an expressed timber roof, engineered to create the best possible acoustics environment. Matching American White Oak triangular infill panels have differing amounts of sound absorption to fine tune the acoustics depending on their location within each of the spaces.

    Hand-made construction and warm materials aim to offer a contemporary take on the Arts and Crafts tradition appropriate to the location. The solid brick construction beneficial for acoustic separation is punctuated by a variety of openings which add character, bring daylight into the heart of the scheme and provide glimpses back to the wider School campus. The roof is clad in bespoke handmade clay tiles, forming triangular patterns which mirror the internal structure. Structural and services engineering is integrated into and carefully expressed within the fabric of the architecture. The building utilises a combination of natural and integrated displacement ventilation to help achieve a BREEAM Very Good rating, excellent environmental and acoustic conditions throughout, and very good levels of natural daylight and ventilation throughout.

    “There is great space and generosity to the design, and this has enabled the concert hall to have an exceptional acoustic quality that our performers have all remarked upon. ”

    Mr Andrew Halls, Senior School Headmaster