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Five years on ... Design Engine submits Charterhouse School plans

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Design Engine’s competition-winning scheme for a new chemistry block at Charterhouse School, Surrey, has been submitted for planning – five years after the practice landed the job

According to the firm, the brief for the project has ‘developed considerably’ since it saw off Hopkins Architects, Panter Hudspith, Belsize Architects and Pringle Richards Sharratt to bag the then £5 million scheme for the independent boarding school in 2010 (see below).

In addition to the chemistry building, which features three large ‘gothic-inspired’ chimneys, the proposals, now valued at £11 million, will also create a new science and mathematics centre and revamp the neighbouring museum building and existing science block.

Design Engine director Richard Jobson said: ‘We are very pleased that, after five years of working with the school, we are in a position to make a full planning application. This is particularly exciting as the design team has been retained while the project is in planning to complete the detailed design for an anticipated start on site in the summer of 2016.

‘[Over] the past five years we have developed a much more integrated scheme by expanding the brief to create a state-of-the-art science and mathematics centre.

‘The overall appearance of the building remains broadly unchanged’

‘While the brief has developed considerably over the last few years it is comforting to know that the original ideas illustrated in our competition have endured, so that the overall appearance of the building remains broadly unchanged, with the exception of the returning wing, which now connects the building to the nearby listed buildings.’

He added: ‘The increased vision for the project has offered exciting opportunities for the adjoining museum building and existing science building to be refurbished to create spaces much more sympathetic with the building’s original use, whilst working comfortably as the new home for science and mathematics.

‘This decision is nicely reinforced by the stone carvings that sit over the existing colonnade to the museum (now to serve as the new main entrance) which read “Esperienza Scienza”.’ 


Previous Story (AJ 16.07.2010)

Design Engine scoops Charterhouse School contest

Design Engine has won the competition to build a new chemistry block at Charterhouse School, Surrey

The Winchester-based practice saw off competition from Hopkins Architects, Panter Hudspith, Belsize Architects and Pringle Richards Sharratt to land the contest for a new £5 million chemistry facility block for the independent boarding school in Godalming.

Speaking to AJ, director of Design Engine Robert Jobson, said: ‘I think we won because we’re providing a unique and imaginative solution to the problem.’

Plans include the addition of a new two-storey building to revamp the current gothic campus.

The building will also feature three chimneys on the northern side to house chemical flues from the lab. Jobson said: ‘We want to relate the building to the verticality of the gothic campus, with chimneys that reach upwards in an elegant way.’

Although funding for the project has yet to be fully secured, a pre-application for planning is expected in the next few weeks.


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