ORMS Architecture Design completes an 'arts courtyard' for school amidst historical monastic setting in Cambridgeshire
The King’s School is a co-educational independent school situated in the heart of Ely with an enviable reputation for art and drama. To build further on their success the aim was to create facilities to match the quality of their work. The art and drama activities were a natural extension of the existing creative educational facilities on the site and supported a wider aim to create an 'Arts Courtyard' focus for the school.
The site lies in the vicinity of one of the most important historic, religious and cultural landmarks in England: Ely Cathedral & Priory and its monastic buildings. The buildings enhance the existing facilities by a combination of new building, extensions and internal alterations. It is part of a sensitive sequential development that reinforces and improves the best qualities of the existing environment. This is broadly divided in to 3 main areas: Art Building (new building), Dance Building (new extension and alteration to existing) and the Hayward Theatre (extension and alteration). Each part retains its own identity in terms of education experience, appearance and form but contributes to the whole curriculum and collection of buildings in a varied and supportive way.
An extension to the covered cloister path around the courtyard further develops the collegiate pattern. The foyer space is used year round as a gallery to celebrate the students work, this space is integral to the movement and the buildings and is overlooked by the fine art room and is directly accessed from photography, ceramics and dance. The life and energy within the building is inspiring and this was reflected in the 2010 exam results, an improvement again on the already excellent results of the previous year.