The 1,620 m² sixth form centre at Reigate Grammar School provides a link between the school’s two main areas whilst also serving as the first stage of a broader masterplan, laying the groundwork for future developments.
The building is capped by a stunning pitched roof reminiscent of existing buildings in the surrounding area. This has been realised via an exposed glulam timber-steel truss system that spans the full 12 m width of the building, keeping steel columns to the perimeter, thus producing a large column-free floor space below. Since the truss is entirely exposed at the second floor library, careful detailing was essential in order to achieve a high-quality finish.
Provision of flexible, column-free spaces with natural ventilation was a driving principle of the overall design, and so we proposed a hybrid solution of concrete and steel. The use of RC slabs and concrete-encased steel beams produced an efficient structure to accommodate the large spans desired by the client, whilst allowing the thermal mass of the in-situ concrete to be utilised in providing natural cooling during the day.