St Mary's School

Project: St Mary's School Performing Arts Building

Client: St Mary's School Colchester

Contract Value: £800,000

The Performing Arts Building provides St Mary's School with a new drama studio, art and music departments. The building was planned on two levels to accommodate a sloping site that is dominated by some magnificent Cedar and Wellingtonia trees. Open vaulted timber ceilings above a lattice of tubular steel trusses, provide excellent acoustic performance to the main spaces. Generous windows allow abundant daylight deep into the building.

The large windows of the drama studio, with mitred glass-to-glass corners, help give the building a sense of lightness when viewed alongside the delicate foliage of the adjacent trees. A low eaves line reduces the apparent height of the building and helps it link visually with the original Victorian school. Yellow stock brickwork and metal standing seam and slate roofs align closely with nearby period houses.


RIBA East Spirit of Ingenuity Design Award 2002 and Colchester Civic Society Award 2003