Sanger Building for Science & Mathematics
Architect: Hopkins Architects, London
Client: Bryanston School
Awards: RIBA Award
Copyright: Hopkins Architects
This building has a solid, enduring, stable quality often associated with respected and established places of learning. It tidies up effortlessly a challenging overall site plan encompassing a number of buildings, many and varied in terms of date, style and quality. It uses the existing lie of the land to good effect making a comfortable transition between buildings of varying heights and varying ground levels.
The building has great clarity in both form and function. The sweeping shape of the horseshoe works well, the enclosed spaces, classrooms, labs etc are ranged around the outer edge with the open plan study areas along the inside edge. Departments are arranged so that biology is on the ground floor by the garden, physics in the middle and chemistry at the top with the fume cupboard chimneys discharging to the sky. The maths department is vertical (all three floors) and located at one end of the building, straddling all three departments. The teaching/department diagram is sensible and comprehensible just like the building.
The thermal performance of the building is visibly reflected in the construction. The north facing outside skin of the horseshoe is thick and heavily insulated with stripped down simple stretcher bond brickwork, and the openings are deep, emphasized by the bay windows set within them.
The brickwork forming the south facing inside wall of the horseshoe is more perforated and decorated than the north wall. It is solid Flemish bond brickwork construction with added detail of flat soldier arched over the openings, and stone studs to decorate the facade. The solid brickwork construction can be seen clearly both inside and out. The finish in the lecture theatre is brickwork with exposed stone lintels. The use of exposed brickwork extensively as an internal finish gives the building a durable and noble air.
This is a building of tremendous integrity and rigour, which creates a clear view for the future of the school. It makes a pivotal move towards the next phase of buildings. A pleasingly simple, straightforward but not obvious building.
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