Caldicott School Buckinghamshire 2001–2004
The Performing Arts building combines a hall, three classrooms, a meeting room and a common room. The scheme embodies three theatres: the quad (the civic place for street performance) the hall (the conventional model for theatre) and the landscape.

‘If you look at the building through the eyes of a theatre director, it comes alive with unexpected entrances and exits and dramatic possibilities (and wonderful soft acoustics).’ Eleanor Young, 2005

Image 1

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    The scheme creates a new quad at the heart of the school
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    The hall is partially submerged to reduce its bulk, preserve views and mitigate any loss of light to the surrounding buildings
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    New performing arts building in context between the original house and a classroom block
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    Quad level plan
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    The hall frames the view of the school grounds from the quad
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    East facade of hall and tower - the forms and materials (brick, copper and timber) suggest both an abstract and an English architecture
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    Hall during a rehearsal
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    Inside, heavy timber beams, brick walls, a parquet floor and large expanses of glazing characterise the space
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    Outdoor amphitheatre, the third performance space - the scheme transcends its function reconnecting the life of the school with the landscape providing a backdrop day-to-day and for performances
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    Details of the south elevation
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    Pupils playing under the pergola
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    Performing arts building seen from the playing fields at dusk


  • Appointment: 2001
  • Construction start: 2003
  • Completion: 2004
  • Area: 705m2
  • Budget: £1.6m
  • Form of contract: Traditional
  • Client: Caldicott Trust
  • Contractor: Benson Ltd
  • Services Engineer: Rybka
  • Structural Engineer: Techniker
  • Quantity Surveyor: Stockdale
  • Buidling Control: MLM
  • Acoustic Engineer: Sharp Redmore Partnership


  • ‘First Person’, in: Brick Bulletin, Summer 2013, pp4-5 (2013), pp.4–5
  • ‘A Review of Architects and Their Buildings’, in: Architecture & Building – UK, SHE02 / 2007 (2007), p.65
  • ‘Investigating For You – What Role Do Craftmanship Skills and Manual Work in General Play In Your Projects and In Your Work at The Drawing Board’, in: ARK – The StoJournal for Architects, issue 4 (2006), p.13
  • ‘Competitions’, in: Building Design (1 February 2002), p.15
  • Eleanor Young, ‘Watch This Space’, in: RIBA Journal (April 2005), pp.40–44
  • Jay Merrick, ‘Leave Your Bombs Behind’, in: The Independent Review (30 March 2005), pp.12–13
  • ‘Caldicott School Performing Arts Building’, in: School Building, December 2004/January 2005 (2004), pp.38–40
  • Fay Sweet, ‘Feat of Learning’, in: Homes & Property (15 September 2004), p.13
  • David Littlefield, ‘Core Subject’, in: Building Design (22 September 2002), p.10
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