Music School, King’s College School Wimbledon
Civic Trust Awards
Level of Award
Local Authority Area
Information about this scheme
This state-of-the-art music school features a 200 seat Concert Hall surrounded by rehearsal and teaching space, sitting comfortably on an irregular site, relating to neighbouring Arts and Crafts houses and complements the larger school buildings.
A single storey L-shaped foyer enables access to all parts of the building by linking three distinct elements. These consist of a triple-height auditorium with a stage for a 70-piece orchestra; a double- height rehearsal space for 70 musicians above a pair of classrooms; and a linear two storey block accommodating practice rooms, teaching rooms and offices. The gable end of the linear block is home to a Porters’ Lodge with a caretaker’s flat above. A large basement provides further practice space, WCs, storage and plant.
The Auditorium and Rehearsal Room roofs are both formed from an expressed timber dia-grid structure and matching American White Oak triangular infill panels featuring differing degrees of sound absorption and reflection to fine tune the acoustics within the spaces. Daylight is provided through diffused overhead rooflights or continuous clerestory glazing respectively. In the main auditorium a series of vertical bay windows provide lateral glimpses back to other buildings in the school. Picking up on the surrounding buildings, external walls are constructed from a handmade brick and the roof is clad in specially commissioned handmade clay roof tiles to form triangular patterns which mirror the internal structure.
Exhaustive reviews of potential bricks against those used in the existing School buildings - in particular the Great Hall - were performed in order to select the brick, and a large number of sample panels constructed to finalise the joint form and finish. Conceived as three distinct volumes linked by the foyer, the building’s external brick walls become internal within the foyer space, reinforcing the legibility of the scheme. The structural and services engineering is integrated into and expressed within the fabric of the architecture.
The building utilises a combination of natural and integrated displacement ventilation to achieve a BREEAM Very Good rating at design stage, excellent environmental and acoustic conditions throughout, and very good levels of natural daylight and ventilation.
Primary Use Class
Class D1c - Education