Hampton School was founded in 1557 and lies close to one of England's greatest historical sites - Hampton Court Palace, residence of Henry VIII. When the school decided to build a new Sixth Form Centre they needed something ready for the demands of the 21st century. Now that this project is almost complete, we look back on our involvement.
The project was led by IID Architects, with whom Adrian James Acoustics had worked before. In 2009 we carried out the acoustic design of the school's magnificent Hammond Theatre. Three years later we also worked on the Hampton Pre-Prep and Prep School (formerly known as Denmead Primary School). Consequently, when the new Sixth Form Centre was commissioned, AJA was delighted to be part of the team once again.
An innovative design was drawn up by the architects, with the site of the new block being positioned within an existing fully enclosed quadrangle.
The following aerial view shows the open quadrangle in which the new building was erected. The second view focusses on the steel frame of the building, mid-construction.
It was important to maximise the available space and integrate the block to the surrounding school buildings. The architects designed a self-contained three-storey pod, built on a steel framework and connected to the outer buildings by walkways. Glass panels provided a covered roof for the exposed areas.
The atrium surrounding the pod, between the new and existing building, contains a series of study spaces. There are also formal teaching and study areas inside the pod itself. AJA determined suitable criteria and developed a detailed design for sound insulation, room acoustics and ambient noise levels. This ensured excellent acoustic conditions for all spaces.
The mixture of traditional and contemporary construction materials has created an airy and calm environment for students to study or relax.
Through detailed computer modelling, AJA determined the best possible acoustic solutions in unusual circumstances. In particular, the outer face of the pod comprises a smooth acoustically absorbing render and slatted timber finish to control noise and reverberation in the atrium.
The block will be fully operational by September and we are delighted to have been part of the project. IID Architects and the school management team can be justly proud of the result.