Charterhouse Science and Mathematics Centre
Civic Trust Awards
Level of Award
Local Authority Area
Information about this scheme
The School’s aim was to revolutionise the way that science and mathematics are taught at Charterhouse by fostering inter- and intra-departmental collaboration, providing a world-class learning environment for current and future generations of pupils.
The building represents the essence of modern science teaching which is respectful of the historic setting of the school, advanced in its thinking, construction and ambition and sound in its use and application of its materials, structure and form. The site lies towards the North Eastern edge of the Charterhouse campus where the surrounding buildings, designed in the late 19th Century by the Architect Philip Charles Hardwick, are predominantly grade 2 or grade 2* listed.
The scheme, featuring three steeply pitched roofs, representing the 6 Chemistry Labs below, creates a subtle but important architectural link with the original Hardwick campus which is heavily reliant on these forms. These chimneys reflect the internal and functional requirements of the Chemistry Labs within, providing an outlet for the fume cupboards but also a volume which facilitates natural ventilation through stack effect. Finally, this roof form provides a focal point to the vista from the primary entrance to the school.
The form of the chimneys resonates with the immediate context and the neighbouring vertical elements of the Neo-Gothic spires and arches, making a significant contribution to the character and appearance of the surrounding area.
Utilising modern methods of construction, the entire first floor and roof primary structure is constructed from a hybrid of Cross Laminated Timber, Glulam and Steelwork. This structure has been left exposed wherever possible, demonstrating how the building was made. Inside the building, a series of inspiring volumes are created by the steeply pitched chimneys. Each Laboratory is split into ‘wet’ and ‘dry’ teaching areas providing a flexible and modern environment of the highest quality, giving the school more scope to innovate in the development of new teaching methods.
Extensive consultation with the Chemistry Department was taken during the design of the project. Materials were tested for their durability by the Chemistry Technicians. Out of teaching time, the Campus opens the building to local primary schools for scientific teaching and outside term time hosts summer schools for local and foreign students for whom this new building will provide a focus.
Design Engine Architects
Heyne Tillet Steel
Ridge & Partners
Primary Use Class
Class D1c - Education