On a sunny afternoon in July, some of the AJA team joined a tour of the new Dyson Building at Gresham’s School in Norfolk.
Robert treated the audience to a comprehensive overview of the building’s design and history.
Former Gresham’s student Sir James Dyson donated £18.75 million to create this prestigious centre, designed to inspire the scientists, technologists, engineers, artists and mathematicians of tomorrow.
The new building stands alongside another Greshams landmark – the Britten Centre for music, for which we were the acoustics consultants. We were delighted to create the acoustic design of the Dyson STEAM building and we are also currently investigating acoustic improvements at the Chapel, which sits opposite the Dyson Building.
The Dyson Building’s architects were Wilkinson Eyre – winners of the Stirling Prize and Lubetkin Prize. Their vision – closely discussed with Sir James Dyson – was for a layout which encourages cross-fertilisation of ideas. In addition to coventional teaching spaces, there are workshops, laboratories, informal study areas and a gallery for showcasing students’ work.
Walking round the building, you can see how the design concept focusses on an open feel, fostering collaboration between students of different disciplines.
Building work on the Dyson Building started in April 2020. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the entire building was finished in well under two years.
Now the Dyson Building stands as an inspiration to its users and has already won various awards. It is also shortlisted for a Sustainability Award, with its design including “green walls” and innovative natural ventilation.
In the words of headmaster Douglas Robb, “The Dyson Building represents an aspiration jointly held by Sir James and Gresham’s School – that learning should be joined up and innovation encouraged”.