After working on a number of proposals for Bede’s School, LCE were asked to look at the design of a new boarding house for the school to replace existing out of date accommodation.
The brief was to provide a new 60 Bed Boarding House with accommodation for House Masters, a main atrium space and breakout spaces for boarding and day boarding students.
The site, in the heart of Bede’s School grounds is surrounded on all four sides with different constraints that have influenced the proposed scheme. To the west the existing boarding house accommodation has a strong architectural geometry that culminates in a public space at right angles to the site. To the north, is the main Performing Arts Center. To the east the site is flanked by two sets of copses that frame a stunning view of the existing lake beyond and to the south further out buildings and copse. A strong existing desire line through the site, the views of the lake and the entrance to the performing art space establish a diagram for the new building that is based on two rows of accommodation, over two stories, running north-south and an atrium space between them. The accommodation wings are staggered, with the east wing being shorter than the west allowing the building to open up to views of the lake and providing a new public space adjacent to the Performing Arts Building. The double height atrium space then sits between the wings and acts as the heart of the scheme both architectural and communally. It’s position provides a strong axial geometry both north and south, but also a counter point to the strong geometry of the existing dormitory accommodation, to the west, enabling an east/west route to be established in the diagram and a link to the existing school’s urban layout.