Bedes School Boarding House

Gareth and Mike, working in conjunction with LCE Architects, were asked to look at the design of a new boarding house for the school to replace its existing out of date accommodation.

The site, in the heart of Bede’s School grounds is bordered by an existing boarding house and public space to the west, Performing Arts centre to the north and tree copses to the south and east that also frame a stunning view of an existing lake beyond.

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.

Its position provides an 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.

After a brief period of delay due to world events, the project is due for completion in 2022.