In 2013 Walters & Cohen won a competition to design a new student centre, library and sixth form centre at Reigate Grammar School in Surrey. Founded in 1675, RGS is a co-ed independent school with approx 900 pupils, many of whom benefit from the school’s extensive bursaries and scholarship programme.
We were first appointed to conduct a space audit and develop a masterplan for the school’s split sites, taking a comprehensive and holistic long-term view of their entire estate. The space audit confirmed that the school’s most pressing requirement was for a new sixth form centre and learning resource centre, which also unlocks the potential for further phases of the masterplan. RGS had recently purchased a site known as Merrick House, which provided a great opportunity to link the two main parts of the campus and made the ideal location for the new accommodation. The building fits its context in material and massing, reflecting the pitched-roof typology of the attractive Victorian school buildings, and is a modest neighbour to Reigate Cemetery.
The project has at its core the desire to understand how students can have a better experience in the sixth form and make a successful transition to university. The centre is therefore designed to meet the school’s ambitious sixth form curriculum and provide facilities that compare with the best in the country.
The new building has benefitted from a generous grant from the Peter Harrison Foundation.