Rowan Preparatory School had an ambition to increase the pupil role up to 200 pupils, this would require the creation of new classrooms on a restricted site. Located in a large house in a residential area, the school had suffered from historical unplanned extensions leading to a building that lacked cohesion and clarity. The brief was not only to address the increase in space requirements but to improve the image and usability of the school and reinforcing the schools identity.
The public face of the school was obscured by a mid 20th century flat roofed hall that did not reflect the surrounding area. The school reception was buried in the heart of the school via a number of steps and down corridors. The kitchen was small, outdated and was located away from the hall where the children ate. The school lacked accessible toilet facilities and there was no access for wheelchair users to the first floor.
Franklin Ellis’s design evolved in consultations with the school at all stages. The primary intervention was to position a 2 storey teaching building in front of the existing flat roofed hall incorporating a new reception suite. With landscaping this gives the front of the school an inviting and accessible face-lift. A new lift gives access to the upper floors with a new corridor connecting to existing upper parts of the school. A new kitchen was provided to the far side of the hall with a servery giving direct access into the main dining hall. The existing kitchen and untidy courtyard was then converted into new pupil toilets, accessible toilet and top lit art and DT space.
The construction works were carried out in three phases to minimise the disruption to the operation of the school. The result has been transformational for the school who’s successes are able to grow into the new facilities.