van Hasselt Centre, Cranleigh School
Civic Trust Awards
Level of Award
Local Authority Area
Information about this scheme
Disused squash courts, dating back to the 1970’s, have been recycled to create an altogether different place. Using this well-loved building as its core allows the new building to not only be deeply rooted to the school’s memory but create a highly efficient use of space.
A new light-weight structure containing twenty-four classrooms wraps around the existing masonry squash courts building. Internally, the former squash courts have been creatively re-purposed into generous and flexible social spaces at the heart of an expanded academic building. Natural daylight and ventilation are brought into the centre of these spaces through openings in the new roof structure. In order to maintain the presence of the original building’s form, connections to it are minimised and made carefully - lightweight bridges connect sensitively to spaces within.
The building’s circulation is generously proportioned to encourage student interaction and provide a focal point for a sense of community and ownership. This plan provides legibility to users through a constant relationship with the building’s masonry core. The pitched roof form of the new building is derived from the gables of the existing squash courts. The building’s end elevation is representative of its organisation and section; the squash court’s brick gables are visible alongside the shape of new teaching spaces which surround it. The facades and roof are clad in Siberian Larch, referential to the historic agricultural buildings of the area.
Learning from adjacent listed buildings, modest materials are used with precise and restrained detailing to openings in the facade. Anodised aluminium references the stone quoins of historic buildings, while creating building features that reflect the natural change of daylight throughout the day. The result aims to create a familiar building that is completely contemporary in its context.
On moving through the building, the experience of new and old is intentionally distinct, reinforced by the qualities of natural timber. Where building users touch the building - doors, handrails, bespoke furniture of oak is used to create warmth that will develop with age. As part of a strategic plan for the campus, this new teaching building will allow Grade II listed boarding houses to be returned to their original function.
The van Hasselt Centre completes a new external court for the campus, which together with the new building, forms Cranleigh’s academic heart.
Allies and Morrison
R Durtnell & Sons
Method Consulting LLP
Synergy CPC LLP
Synergy CPC LLP
The Fire Surgery
Primary Use Class
Class D1c - Education