In March 2003 Walters & Cohen won a competition to design new teaching and administration buildings at Bedales, an independent boarding school set in 110 acres of Hampshire countryside and renowned for its excellence in music and the arts. The school has a strong and distinguished architectural heritage, including the Grade I Arts and Crafts library designed by Ernest Gimson, and is sited within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). We are very proud to have been selected to contribute to this sensitive setting.
Working with the school’s ethos, we designed an elegant, three-storey timber building that complements its rural surroundings and conforms to the highest environmental standards. The Orchard Building provides administration offices and generous teaching spaces, but also makes excellent use of the circulation areas too: the double height reception space can host many activities, while desks and sofas on the first floor promote informal study and social interaction, creating an inspiring and thriving academic environment.
The project was completed on time and under budget, and received an RIBA Award in 2006.