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De Rosee Sa unveils £158k Roald Dahl inspired dining hall

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De Rosee Sa has completed this dining hall inspired by the children’s author Roald Dahl for Prestwood Infant School in Buckinghamshire


Roald Dahl lived locally and apparently based the infamous Miss Trunchbull in his book Matilda on a former head teacher of the school.

However, it was Fantastic Mr Fox that provided the material for The Little Hall scheme by De Rosee Sa and local design group PMR. The story’s hero declares he will make, ‘a little underground village, with … separate houses for badgers and moles and rabbits and weasels and foxes … and every day we will eat like kings.’

The £158,000 building is kitted out with a WC painted to resemble a fox’s den, a berry bush and Mr Fox’s tail. Along the front of the building is a plywood bookcase with window seats for reading.

The project arose from the Government’s Hot Dinners initiative and has facilities to provide hot school meals for up to 96 children. The Little Hall will also be used for an after school club and rented out to the local community to bring in extra revenue for the school.

An economical plywood interior has been employed while externally, a timber rain screen made of western red cedar battens and stained in various bright colours, decorates the facade.

De Rosee Sa's Roald Dahl inspired Little Hall

De Rosee Sa’s Roald Dahl inspired Little Hall

After school clubs will be held in the Little Hall

Architect’s view

It has been incredibly rewarding for us as architects to see the delight on the pupil’s faces. Design has great potential to inspire and it is our job as architects to push that agenda. We wanted to give the children something really special. Now they can refer to Roald Dahl when describing their school. We chose simple materials to deliver a building which was clean and crisp while also being playful and visually-stimulating.

We tried as much as possible to use off-the-shelf materials. Where wet trades could not be avoided, we wanted to use them as the finishes. There were a few technical issues that had to be resolved including how to use the concrete structural slab as the actual floor finish and how to achieve the colour graduation on the timber battens with only five base colours.

De Rosee Sa's Roald Dahl inspired Little Hall

De Rosee Sa’s Roald Dahl inspired Little Hall

Multi-coloured rain screen

Project data

Location Buckinghamshire
Type of project school
Client Prestwood Infant School
Architect De Rosee Sa
Designer PMR
Cost £158,000

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