Halls Head College Parry and Rosenthal Architects

This major addition and upgrade of Halls Head College included the refurbishment of the existing media, arts and IT areas, provision of a new food and textiles studio, and the provision of a new Year 7 facility. The three new buildings are arranged on the edge of a tight, occupied secondary school site.

New buildings are located to align with existing courtyard spaces, linking the new buildings to existing buildings on the campus. The area created between the new and existing buildings has become a new ‘green heart’ for the campus and offers a new learning environment for students of the College.

A simple palette of self-finished, robust and cost efficient materials was selected for external cladding elements including red face brickwork, galvanised steel structural members, steel roof sheeting and tinted glass. Contrasting bands of colour glazed bricks were used sparingly as highlights, as a gesture to the original buildings and to assist with way finding.

A number of initiatives were adopted to provide a low energy design solution whilst maintaining high levels of indoor air quality. The incorporation of operable low level louvres allow the teaching spaces to be naturally ventilated throughout the year. Operable high level louvres combined with ventilation stacks provide an air path for cross-flow ventilation, further enhancing the performance of a natural ventilation strategy. The number of internal columns and load bearing walls were minimised to provide flexibility and the floor plate shape and orientation of the buildings allow for the provision of abundant controlled natural light throughout the buildings.

The project was highly complex and was delivered over five separable portions; as new facilities were handed over to the College, the existing facilities would then be refurbished and repurposed. Parry and Rosenthal Architects managed the highly complex staging and handover regime efficiently and successfully, communicating with key stakeholders every step of the way.