Headington School – Music Building

Works comprised of construction of a new two storey music building to replace the existing facility for Headington School in Oxford.

The old building suffered from poor ventilation which required windows to be opened, causing considerable noise disturbance to other departments alongside the building.

We decided to re-site the new music facility on the edge of the main group of teaching buildings, reducing the noise disturbance and placing it nearer to the theatre & art departments.

Aesthetically the building was designed to respond to design themes suggested by the neighbouring buildings, but in very different ways. The music building picks up on the features and details of its modern counterparts, the art department and the theatre; standing seam metal roof, deep matching fascias, red brick, and windows paced and sized functionally rather than according to a pattern.

The building’s mass is arranged so as not to interrupt the view from the dining hall and it embraces its proximity to the open space by opening out from the main rehearsal and performance spaces into an open-air amphitheatre to which the building provides a backdrop.

This feature is assimilated into the existing, more open, green space by the use of the excavated material to provide a gentle sloping bank from which will rise a tented canopy sweeping the eye up to the roof and beyond. The roof itself is articulated by the passive ventilation outlets which will be detailed to echo the clock-tower and, to a lesser extent, reflect the similar, but larger, ‘stack’ on the theatre. The bank will be topped with appropriate screen planking and will also serve to provide an informal raised seating area overlooking the sports field.

The project was phased and construction of the new building was completed before the old music building was demolished, thus ensuring there was no disruption to the music department.

The demolition of the old music building made way for the new ICT and teaching facility, which needed to occupy a central position.

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  • Client:

    Headington School

  • Location:

    Oxford

  • Type:

    New Build

  • Completed:

    2009