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Fresh design with old school quality

A competition-winning building at Reigate Grammar School, designed by London-based firm, Walters & Cohen Architects, is now open

Posted by Julian Owen | October 31, 2018 | Bricks & mortar

Reigate Grammar School's Harrison Centre, combining library and sixth form centre, will provide new facilities for approximately 900 pupils. The building provides a link between the school’s two main areas, whilst also serving as the first stage of a broader masterplan, laying the groundwork for future developments.

Walters & Cohen Architects' design of the red brick building is intended to reflect the materials, massing and pitched-roof typology of the Victorian school estate. Company Director, Cindy Walters, said: “The Harrison Centre connects one side of the school to the other and creates a generous forecourt of civic space. When developing the design with our client, we discussed how students like to work and how we could achieve the right balance of formal and informal spaces. The building creates a studious and calm environment for individual study, small group meetings and quiet socialising. We are delighted that so many students choose to study in the library, sometimes even in school holidays.”

Steve Douty, the school Bursar, said: “The building is everything we planned for in terms of how it performs for the school, with almost every pupil passing through its doors at least once in every school day. What we had not realised was how it would also become the heart of the school. The external landscaping has extended the footprint of the building to include the Cross of Sacrifice, which has been restored to its original condition. The new Portland stone wall that surrounds it, the yew hedging and the planting of many new trees, create an environment to be enjoyed by both the school and the local community.”

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