A highly specialised and technically sensitive refurbishment of a Grade II-listed building and a new build two-storey extension.
This scheme involved two projects simultaneously, each requiring a different set of skills. The refurbishment of a derelict building needed traditional craft skills such as lathe and plaster. We recut plaster cast moulds to create ceiling decorations and mended the damaged ones, we opened up block windows, refurbished sash windows by installing new weights and pulls and upgraded the entire mechanical and electrical system.
The new build extension required modern construction techniques such as structural insulated panels (SIPS) with rainscreed cladding and Spanish slate tiles for the roof.
There were some planning issues, for instance in one of the rooms of the listed building, the school only wanted one window to be opened up because they needed the wall space, however the planners stipulated that two windows be restored so the building looked symmetrical from the outside.
Original finishes inside the building were restored, for example the cornices. But at the same time we also needed to upgrade the mechanical and electrical and hide the duct work, so we drilled from the floor above down behind the cornices and cut into the wall so as not to disturb the cornices. We installed the air handling unit on the roof to avoid interfering with the ceiling. As the design grew and changed it required stringent planning approval.
The scope of works changed and we needed to replace the steels in a corroding floor, which bats were roosting under. We had to apply for a bat license and stop works for periods of the year. We also installed ply and mesh to provide areas for the bats to hang and roost.
To protect the tree, we couldn’t use heavy machinery near it so we hired an Air Spade contractor to spray the soil out of the ground, this meant the tree roots weren’t disturbed, we could then replace the soil.
“Job well done! This has led to us tendering on a larger project at the school.”
Marc Bayley, Swindon Director
Girls’ Day School Trust
Fielden Clegg Bradley Studios
Thornton Firkin & Partners
Form of contract