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Walters & Cohen completes school boarders’ house

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Walters & Cohen has taken the wraps off this new house for boarders at the King’s School in Canterbury

PLANS • SECTION • ELEVATIONS

The scheme, which Walters and Cohen won through competition in 2014, is the second part of a two-phase development project at the historic independent school.

The first phase – the refurbishment of the school’s Grade II-listed Butterfield building and Master’s House to create new boarding space – was completed in 2015.

Built on a site close to the existing school campus, this new building provides accommodation space for the sixth form’s girls in a gabled two-storey building.

It includes 23 single study bedrooms while a single-storey glass link connects it to the Butterfield building.

Clad in handmade clay tiles, the new scheme draws on local architecture and construction techniques and dormer windows allow extra rooms to be located in the building’s gabled roof. 

King’s School by Walters and Cohen

King’s School by Walters and Cohen

Source: Dennis Gilbert

Ground floor plan

King’s School by Walters and Cohen

King’s School by Walters and Cohen

First floor plan

King’s School by Walters and Cohen

King’s School by Walters and Cohen

Second floor plan

King’s School by Walters and Cohen

King’s School by Walters and Cohen

Section A-A

King’s School by Walters and Cohen

King’s School by Walters and Cohen

East elevation

King’s School by Walters and Cohen

King’s School by Walters and Cohen

North elevation

King’s School by Walters and Cohen

King’s School by Walters and Cohen

South elevation

King’s School by Walters and Cohen

King’s School by Walters and Cohen

West elevation 

King’s School by Walters and Cohen

King’s School by Walters and Cohen

Client’s view

The King’s School, Canterbury has simply loved working with Cindy Walters and the design team on Kingsdown House, which 55 teenage girls can now call home. 

The house comprises the newly refurbished Grade II listed William Butterfield building and its modern annex designed by Walters & Cohen, located just beyond the Precincts walls of Canterbury Cathedral. Particularly special is the houseroom, a social hub in the spacious loft space of the Butterfield’s high-pitched roof. Here, a mezzanine cunningly provides space for reading and relaxing, while, below, the house community can eat, chat, watch television and come together for house meetings. The courtyard gardens, designed by Brita at Bradley-Hole Schoenaich Landscape, include a Kent crab apple tree chosen by Lady Rose Kingsdown, the honorand of the house. Everything – the landscape, the design, the sensitive choice of materials – has come together in harmony to create an aesthetically striking and inspiring boarding house that is traditional and modern; a comfortable homely environment but one that is also conducive to study. 

The housemistress, matron and tutors have all said it is as if the house has always been there; so cleverly do the designs talk to the historic buildings on both the cathedral and the Broad Street sides. Lady Rose Kingsdown remarked at the grand opening that every pupil and member of the house team shares a sense of pride in the stunning new creation and loved showing visitors around!

Peter Roberts, headmaster, The King’s School

King’s School by Walters and Cohen

King’s School by Walters and Cohen

Source: Dennis Gilbert

Project data 

Location Canterbury
Type of project school
Client The King’s School, Canterbury
Architect Walters & Cohen
Landscape architect Bradley-Hole Schoenaich Landscape
Structural and civil engineer Price & Myers
Services engineer Skelly & Couch
Quantity surveyor Fanshawe
Planning consultant Hobbs Parker
Acoustics Ramboll
BREEAM Price & Myers
Approved inspector BRCS Building Control
Fire consultant Fusion Fire
CDM services RMB
Contractor Cardy Construction 

King’s School by Walters and Cohen

King’s School by Walters and Cohen

Source: Dennis Gilbert

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