Headington School Dance Studio and Fitness Suites, Oxford

  • sports hall extension

  • sports hall extension

  • sports hall extension

A specialised new two storey building comprising ground floor fitness suites and first floor dance studios.


Headington School is a leading independent girls school in Oxford.   As with most leading schools there is much interest from the overseas market, these international students want state of the art dance and ballet facilities.

Traditional red brick was used to fit in with the surrounding buildings, with modern design features such as extensive glazed areas. The dance studio on the first floor has an entire glazed wall to let as much light in as possible for the dancers, it has a full height mirrored wall of 13.5m x 3.2m and ballet barres on the opposite wall. We installed a Harlequin high performance sprung dance floor. On the first floor we also built an ergo room and two changing rooms.

On the ground floor we built a fitness suite, spinning room with 20 bikes and two changing rooms.


To drain the water from the ground level we dug a sump which was lower than the area we were excavating. Once the water filled the sump we pumped it out into a soakaway area adjacent to the site.

When excavating, we found Iron Age cooking pits, animal bones and pots. We worked with Oxford Archeologists so they could excavate and investigate the remains.   We were aware that remains had been previously found in Headington so allowed time in the programme for this.

Traditional full length mirrors are 2.4m high, in this case they were 3.2m high. We split the mirrors into 8 sections so they could be walked up the stairs by hand. Mirrors of this height warp so the challenge was lining them up next to each other so the reflection was not distorted. To do this we used an air-powered glass lifter to ease them backwards and forwards, whilst the client team was stood at the back of the hall instructing us when their reflections lined up from top to bottom.

“We have built a modern light and airy building that can be used in a flexible manner and will be a fantastic asset for the school for future generations.

The customer is looking to negotiate their new library with us next!”

John Youle, Director, Beard



Headington School

Contract value

£3.1 million


Morse Webb Solway Brown

Quantity Surveyor

Wilson Large

Contract duration

47 weeks

Form of contract


Procurement Method


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