It’s always a relief when you present a design that’s unconventional and the client gets as excited as you!
At Bradford Grammar School, their brief to improve their sports offering and widen the co-educational offering required something above simply new sports surfaces.
The Project Steering Group comprising of Headmaster, Bursar, senior staff and Governors were clear that any building would need to make a statement and be a unique solution.
We explored several options, with varying budgets, before the “barn” concept was developed. This enclosure utilises a portal frame to make the clear span required, and a palette of materials to provide transparency and variety along the 70 x 30 m long elevations.
The budget didn’t allow for a fully enclosed solution (with insulated envelope, heating and ventilation requirements), so we opted for a passive solution where weather protection is provided, but connection with adjacent uses is maintained.
Trial and error with perforated materials, colour and detailing through Revit software with Enscape output help the decision-making process for us and the client.
Handover of the facility in early April was eagerly awaited and the quality of the internal space which is quiet and stable, yet visually connected to the new hockey and cricket spaces, was finally realised.
The real test will be by the students and staff that will use the facilities, and we’ll be returning at the end of the school year to see how it’s performed.