A little while ago Thinking Buildings obtained planning consent for this beauty of a building to convert the Grade 2* listed school house into residential use. The building sits close to the centre of Cirencester and it was good to visit it once more to meet with the new owner who will develop the scheme to construction. Thinking Buildings really enjoys the challenge of working with listed buildings and this is an excellent example of how we were able to develop a positive relationship with English Heritage and the council’s Conservation Officer.
We have submitted a planning application on behalf of Bibury CoE Primary school. The existing school is a Grade II listed building with two classrooms, a central hall space and support spaces for staff. With modern methods of teaching the school really needs many small teaching spaces rather than the two large spaces they currently have. The current hall space is central to the school, which is great for access but also means it is used as much for circulation as activities.
Working with the school Thinking Buildings came to a two-part solution: construct a new hall to the east of the existing school, and refurbish the existing hall and some of the support spaces to provide a teaching hub, a library on a new mezzanine level and a small group room. This approach gives the school many more options for where and how to teach and makes for a more dynamic environment for the children.
The hall extension building is proposed to be a simple pitched roof form, with a low-level stone plinth and oak cladding above. The cladding will weather to a beautiful silver finish, which will complement the Cotswold stone of the existing building. The playground face is provided with large format glazed doors, giving light to the hall and access and connection to the playground. The new hall is linked to the existing building but a discrete single story glazed link.
We’re looking forward to helping the school move this project forward in the coming years.
We work on a wide range of projects, some large, some not so large. One thing we believe is that it’s not the size of the project which is important. Every project brings its own unique set of challenges, whether it’s the budget (or lack of budget), timescales or design.
Working with a private client we were set the challenge of developing a design for an extension to a listed mid-terrace house. The couple moved into the house several years ago, but now they have two new little family members and the house just wasn’t big enough. They love the house, the area, and the schools but the house just wasn’t working for them. They needed more space.
Thier ambition was for a modern, light, and open plan living area for the family to enjoy. The old part of the house was poorly lit and split into many spaces. We didn’t want to rip out all the existing walls and destroy the character of the house, so an extension was the right choice. Although they love the house, they wanted an extension to contrast the style of the original house. We worked closely with the Local Planning Department and the Conservation Officer. We met them on site and they could see our reasoning and supported the scheme. The extension is modern, but the form of the roof follows the shape of the adjacent extensions with a type of gable front.
Developing the design in the way we did also allowed original features of the house, such as the staircase to be rebuild. This had been taken out some years ago, to save space but the spiral replacement was awkward and out of keeping.
There’s more work to do as budget allows, but the work has already made a fantastic improvement to the living space.