The Keyes Building

King's School, Worcester

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Project Value:





Key Points

  • RIBA award nominated
  • BREEAM Excellent
  • four court multi-use sports hall
  • drama and dance studios
  • car and cycle parking
  • indoor climbing wall
  • solar panels
  • super-insulation

Flexible spaces

The Keyes Building, named after a former headmaster, has delivered sporting flex to the King’s School. Prior to its completion, the Senior and Junior Schools only had one undersized sports hall to share. Our brief was to address this need with a building that would ensure students had access to a range of high quality activity spaces that met current Sport England standards.

Our design response is focussed around a contemporary ‘four court’ multi-use sports hall that allows students to explore their interests and strengths across a huge range of activities including basketball, football, cricket, badminton, judo, trampolining and fencing. Surrounding the hall are a dramatic 15m high climbing wall, a fitness suite and technically supported drama and dance studios.

Modern and sustainable

The design orders the scheme around a number of foyer spaces located to address the multi-level nature of the site, allowing the building to link seamlessly with other key school spaces such as the dining hall, theatre and external amenity spaces. Whilst unashamedly modern in its striking appearance, the material palette and spatial consideration to its locale ensure it is a sensitive addition to this historic part of Worcester. The shape of the building even follows the line of a Bronze Age defensive ditch. Car and cycle parking is located in a semi-basement storey accessed from Severn Street.

Sustainability was a fundamental consideration, with solar panels installed on the roof and super insulation used throughout to improve its efficiency. The low energy building has achieved BREEAM Excellent and is designed in the spirit of Passivhaus standards.

Long term vision

The completion of the Keyes Building marks the culmination of a twenty year transformation of the School and is the major component in our second ten year masterplan for King’s. The site was previously occupied by the Salmon’s Leap pub and its demolition has allowed the creation of a new stepped link route between Severn Street and Castle Court, revealing stunning views of the tower of Worcester Cathedral. At the top of the building, the meeting rooms and circulation spaces serving the drama dance studios enjoy dramatic vistas of the Cathedral and the Malvern Hills.

In early 2017 the Keyes Building was shortlisted for an RIBA award and is testament to the School’s belief in the value in commissioning contemporary architecture within the Independent School sector. Both our previously completed Michael Baker Boathouse and King’s School Library projects have secured previous RIBA awards.