Brentwood School

When Cottrell & Vermeulen Architecture as commissioned to design a new sixth-form centre and assembly hall at Brentwood School, the challenge was to achieve a cohesive design on a site dominated by substantial brick buildings dating back to the 19th and 16th centuries.

The overall intention was to be in sympathy with the existing buildings in terms of the quality, texture and general colouring of the external elevations, but to distinguish the new part as modern by the relatively simple treatment of edges, openings, windows and rooflights.

Project Architect Jonathan Dawes specified Keymer hand-made clay roof tiles to tone in with the brick elevations, and minimalist, low-profile roof windows from the Rooflight company to carry the simplicity of the vertical windows onto the roof.

Fourteen neo™ roof windows in two sizes complement the clean, unelaborated, mostly recessed window openings, while providing high levels of light and ventilation for the classroom accomodation on the second floor. In order to control solar gain and reduce noise pollution, a combination of Pilkington Suncool™ and Optiphon glazing was specified. The bespoke trapezoidal rooflight in the same style as neo™, but with glazing bar illuminates the classroom space below.

New Sixth Form Block

Natural light and ventilation are provided by a total of light low-profile Plateau rooflights with electric actuation. The lower level sedum roof features two Bespoke Plateau Rooflights (1.5m x 0.9m).

The dark grey of the six Bespoke Plateau Rooflights (2.0 x 1.5m) blend well with the bauder covering of the upper level. Fot the linking structure between the 19th Century ‘Otway House’ and the new sixth-form classroom, a simple and sympathetic approach was taken. In order to complement the restrained glazed elevatio, a low profile neo™ studio Designer Rooflight measuring 1.5m x 2.4m was specified.  

Pilkington Suncool™ is a solar control product with high visible light transmittance and low emissivity in one. It is ideal for large areas of glazing to control solar gain whilst providing high levels of light.

Within classrooms, it is vital that the environment is conducive to learning. Noise pollution, for example, can affect a student‰Ûªs ability to concentrate and Part E of the 2003 Building Regulations seeks to include school buildings within its framework, stating that noise pollution can affect learning. Pilkington Optiphon™ is a high quality acoustic laminated glass that offers excellent noise reduction.

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