DMA's new extension aims to improve the cooking & dining experience
DMA was commissioned to develop designs for the Cooking Spaces Initiative which is part of a wider government focus to promote health and well-being and expand the experience of cooking beyond the statutory curriculum requirements. The opportunity created through the programme for the College allowed them to focus the funds on improving the dining experience by creating increased and connected space to the current kitchen and assembly hall.
Prior to the completion of the scheme the dining situation was a very uncomfortable activity operating in a restricted space within the school. The kitchen area was located in the centre of the school at a key circulation junction and as such the fluidity of break times was hampered by the process of stacking and un-stacking tables as well as queues in the corridors. The dramatic new extension design at Westwood College for Girls is poised high on the school site offering views across Croydon whilst seeking to relieve the pressure off the congested main hall and corridor.
The new layout clarifies the circulation space and rectifies the blockages that occurred in the main entrance to the school during the lunch hour rush. The building’s aesthetic is derived as an extrusion of the large bay windows to the existing hall with echoes of the rigorous existing window grid in the new curtain walling system to the end of the extension. The location of the scheme is at the heart of the school and is designed so that it can operate as an isolated kitchen / dining space with flexible partition limiting access to the rest of the main school building.
The new space can also be used by the community out of hours to generate revenue for the school due to the easy and direct access from the main entrance area which connects to the existing car parking in front of the school. The building was completed in November 2011.