Brentwood School Sixth Form Centre – awarded at RIBA 2012


Brentwood School Sixth Form Centre designed with Advance Steel was awarded at RIBA 2012

Brentwood School Sixth Form Centre designed with Advance Steel was awarded at RIBA 2012

Brentwood School’s new Sixth Form Centre has won the 2012 RIBA Award from the Royal Institute of British Architects. The new Sixth Form Centre, designed by architects Cottrell and Vermeulen, took almost two and a-half years to build and was completed in August 2011. Although, it has been used by students since the beginning of the new academic year in September, the Sixth Form Centre was officially opened in November 2011 by His Royal Highness, Prince Edward.

RIBA judges were very impressed by this project, stating that the three buildings which make up the centre (the remodeled Victorian vicarage, the classroom block and the Wessex Auditorium) “celebrate the spirit of education, unfolding as a sequence of spaces for learning, socializing, and gathering: a new sixth form block, a remodeled Victorian vicarage and a new assembly block. Drawing inspiration from the existing Victorian vicarage, the new design is expressed in a language that is both contextual and contemporary. The sculpting of the roofs creates non-standard, domestic-scaled classrooms filled with natural light, reminiscent of the gabled roofs of the Victorian vicarage, but with an added measure of playfulness.”

Brentwood School Sixth Form Centre designed with Advance Steel was awarded at RIBA 2012The project consists of the three buildings which make up the centre – the remodeled Victorian vicarage, the classroom block, made of a steel/concrete hybrid design, with a very complicated roof and the Wessex Auditorium, an assembly hall with a complex box section truss design.

Facilities include common rooms and private study areas; 16 additional classrooms equipped with up-to-date teaching aids, interactive whiteboards and the internet; a dedicated computer suite and the multi-purpose auditorium, with 400 seats. The rooms are heated by a ground source heat pump which draws water from 15 vertical pipe loops penetrating 100 meters below the ground. A sophisticated building management system allows the temperature in the building to be controlled remotely and windows opened or closed automatically.

Adrian Betts, from the TSI Structures LTD design office, explains why Advance Steel was the best solution for the completion of this project: “The ability to import AutoCAD drawings and convert these lines into Advance Steel objects was essential. Without this command many extra office hours would have been spent modeling the new concrete steel structure and the existing building.”

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