King’s Hawford is a long-established independent junior school of The King’s School in Worcester that prides itself on offering an outstanding educational day school experience. Set in thirty acres of parkland, it comprises sports pitches, a forest school, a state of the art playground, an indoor swimming pool, design, history, geography and music facilities. While King’s Hawford had an existing school hall used for sport and assemblies, the school needed additional space that would be truly multi-purpose and a comfortable, secure environment for pupils and teachers alike.
The new hall had to meet a range of criteria. Practically, it needed to be suitable for pupils’ sports, music and drama activities, plus a variety of functions and events put on by external renters.
The new hall also needed a kitchen and servery for catering, plus changing facilities, showers and bathrooms to suit all users.
As a family-centred school that focuses on its children feeling valued, happy and optimistic, creating a space that is enjoyable to use and encourages learning and development was extremely important. A range of aesthetic considerations had to be factored into the design, including the new hall being sympathetic to the school’s existing architecture and that of the surrounding Worcestershire countryside.
To create a building that would meet this complex brief, The King’s School appointed Birmingham based Associated Architects.
When The King’s School heard about Saint-Gobain’s Multi Comfort design concept, an approach to building that aims to improve comfort and wellbeing as well as environmental performance, it chose to construct the new hall to the standard, making it the first Multi Comfort building in the UK.
Recognising that we spend up to 90% of our time indoors, the Saint-Gobain Multi Comfort design concept brings together the latest building materials and construction techniques to create homes, schools and workplaces that are focused on delivering comfort to the user and improving wellbeing to make us feel good.
Multi Comfort considers Thermal, Indoor Air, Acoustic and Visual Comfort, creating buildings that have a positive impact on the people who use them and minimal environmental impact.
Using the Multi Comfort design concept for the new school hall, Associated Architects, Saint-Gobain and main contractor, Speller Metcalfe, have built a space that is a great place for students and teachers to learn and thrive. Opened in May 2016, the hall was named ‘Bartholomew Barn’, and has been in full use since the start of the 2016/17 school year, from September 2016.
Bartholomew Barn is designed to optimise the use of natural light and also capitilise on views of the surrounding countryside. A combination of a highly insulated building fabric, automatic opening skylights and a central ventilation system with heat recovery ensures a constant supply of clean, fresh air and a balanced temperature helping pupils stay alert and productive, whether in lessons, watching a concert or playing sport.
Critically, for a truly multi-purpose venue that plays host to a variety of activities, it has excellent acoustic properties created through the design and careful selection of products for the internal spaces. This means pupils and teachers can hear each other more clearly, improving concentration, participation and engagement.
In developing the UK’s first Multi Comfort school, King’s has raised the standard of educational buildings, creating a space that is not only efficient to run and manage, but also helps their pupils learn and develop more effectively.