Page 35 - Independent Schools Magazine
P. 35

                                Advertorial Feature
St Benedict’s new Junior School building is an eco-friendly landmark for London
St Benedict’s Headmaster, Andrew Johnson, said: “The opening
of our new Junior School is another very exciting landmark
in St Benedict’s history. The new classroom spaces are inspiring places for our youngest pupils to learn, providing the best possible start to their education here”.
The youngest pupils at Benedict’s School, Ealing have moved into their brand new Junior School building this term. Designed by award- winning practice van Heyningen and Haward Architects, this beautifully light and spacious facility is being hailed as an eco-friendly landmark for London.
retaining their independent use, the building’s footprint is minimised and has enabled the creation of a new garden courtyard for the Sixth Form.
The recently completed second building, the New Ark for the Junior School, has been specially designed with nursery and pre-prep children in mind. Classrooms can be opened up to provide larger spaces for team- teaching and shared learning. There are also plenty of small, cosy spaces for quiet activities and one-to-one teaching, a home economics room, and direct access to landscaped outdoor learning and play areas. All classrooms are south facing for good natural light and have fantastic views across to Ealing Abbey.
It is also extremely eco-friendly, having been built to a set of energy requirements known as ‘Passivhaus.’ This is a sustainable construction method devised in Germany which maximises energy-ef ciency. There are currently only a handful of schools in the UK built to this standard, making the St Benedict’s Junior School an innovative educational building. Solid cross- laminated timber panels were chosen for the building’s structure as these could be assembled very quickly
and quietly on site, minimising disruption to the School, as well
as bringing excellent sustainability bene ts in comparison to traditional construction.
Passivhaus buildings are extremely airtight, super-insulated and
can be up to 96% more energy ef cient than older school buildings. Air quality and temperature are maintained by using heat recovery ventilation which improves the air quality inside, maintaining good oxygen levels to help everyone stay alert.
The two new buildings complement each other; both use the same brick but with different pointing creating a textural distinction, and sit comfortably within the established palette of the School’s existing buildings. However both are distinct in form, with each responding speci cally and sensitively to its immediate context within the conservation area. Both buildings are carefully positioned to optimise
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the use of the School site, and to best support the School’s long term ambitions.
vHH Partner Meryl Townley said: ‘We are excited to see the new school being utilised and enjoyed by the students. The new classroom spaces will be inspiring places
for the pupils to learn, in a super sustainable building with minimal running costs.’
                                       In 2013 vHH were appointed to design two new buildings as part of the school’s masterplan. The  rst new building completed in November 2015 and combines the ADT department with a new Sixth Form centre, enhancing the facilities of the Senior School. By challenging the original brief and combining these functions, whilst
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