In April 2008 Walters & Cohen won a competition to design a new entrance building and provide a masterplan for Ryde School on the Isle of Wight.
A space audit of Ryde’s campus established the brief to extend accommodation and provide a new reception, generous art and D&T facilities, dining hall and kitchen. The main entrance was provided by the Grade II listed Westmont building, which suffered heavy congestion as a parking and drop-off area.
Our vision for the new entrance building was one of elegance and simplicity. It is a foil to the prominent Westmont building, yet striking and grand in its own right as the first impression of the school. The two-storey L-shaped building encloses a landscaped courtyard in front of Westmont, a pleasant green for students to linger. The building draws inspiration from its context, maximising the long views over the Solent and evoking a sense of serenity.
Ryde took the bold move of removing parking for parents from the site to create a green, car-free quadrangle between the listed and new buildings.
The new building was opened by HRH The Earl of Wessex on 23 March 2012. The project won an RIBA South Regional Award in 2013 and the Solent Design Award for Quality Places in 2014.