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Bennetts lands chapel job for Grade I-listed school

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[First look] Bennetts Associates has won the contest to design a new chapel and music centre at the Charles Barry-designed Canford School in Dorset

The 800-seat chapel will be used for assemblies and worship and will be located close to the main buildings and a formal garden at the boys’ private school.

According to the practice, the scheme will create a ‘new visual focus for the school’ and includes plans to extend a nearby Victorian arboretum set within the school’s 100 hectare grounds.

Music tuition classrooms, practice rooms, foyers, drama facilities and a 150-seat recital hall also feature in the designs.

Bennetts Associates director Simon Erridge said: ‘This project is an absolute joy, Canford have provided the rare combination of an enlightened client, fascinating brief and rich, historically important site which create the perfect starting point for any design.’

Canford headmaster John Lever added: ‘We are very excited by the boldness and originality of a design which will sit beautifully alongside a listed historic building and which promises to mix style and practicality to splendid effect.  It promises to be the finest building on this site for 150 years.’

In the mid nineteenth century Charles Barry – who is well known for rebuilding the Palace of Westminster in a neo-gothic style – remodelled the Tudor-styled country house which in 1923 became a school.

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