Whitgift School Centre Quad
Phase 1 of the Whitgift School masterplan implementation comprises four discreet projects that respond to immediate pressing needs and enable the implementation of later phases of the vision. The projects include a new 3G Pitch, rationalisation of parking and vehicle circulation, a new classroom block and covering the smaller of the two existing quads. The aims of the masterplan are to bring about improvements that will result in an enhanced and sustainable school environment through simple and practical interventions.
The proposal is to cover the Biology Quad, the smaller of two original quads, to the rear of the building, to create a new social all weather break-out area, which will be known as Centre Quad.
At present, there is no dedicated social area that lower school pupils can use during breaks in bad weather, putting additional strain on classrooms. There is an opportunity to address this aspect by internalising the ‘Botanical Quad’/Biology Quad located at the centre of gravity of the school. It will act as a counterpoint to the external Andrew Quad and would provide a stimulating and inspirational gathering and break-out space throughout the year and a new and vital heart to the building and to school life.
At the upper levels the space would engage with the library and would be overseen from the staff common room, in addition to providing a working laboratory for the sciences; it can be used as a gallery for the arts, receptions or other large assemblies.
By covering the quad, the surrounding building fabric would be internalised, reducing maintenance of the older fabric whilst both moderating and reducing heat gains and losses from adjacent spaces. This independent structure, with its own logic and respectful of the 1930s surviving elevation, would create a strong new identity.