REFURBISHMENT £20m refurb for Romford school

Vincent Gorbing Associates have been selected to design a £20m refurbishment project at Royal Liberty School in Romford, Essex.

The architects will be working in a team including contractors Willmott Dixon (appointed under the Southern Construction Framework), plus REL Building Services who will provide M&E solutions, and Arcadis Design & Consultancy as project manager. The

AWARDS AHR picks up education design awards

The AHR-designed Barbara Hepworth Building at the University of Huddersfield has been named Project of the Year at the Education Estates awards. The home of the university’s School of

Art, Design and Architecture won the accolade in the Colleges and Universities category of the awards, which were held in partnership with the Department for Education. The building was recognised for being a new build project that has made a difference to the educational or research experience.

The Barbara Hepworth Building was completed in 2019, and features a flying cantilever design that made it a local landmark. Built on a sloping, canalside

location that required considerable pre- construction work, it has already won several awards including Constructing Excellence’s Building Project of the Year in 2019.

The university’s acting director of

estates and facilities, Tim Hosker, commented, “We are proud of what we have created, embodying the town and looking to the future, and establishing Huddersfield as a premier design destination, via the intuitive design of this exemplary facility."

The university also picked up ‘Highly Commended’ in the Refurbishment of the Year category for a project at Sovereign Design House, a

former 1950s bath house for foundry workers built on land adjacent to the Barbara Hepworth Building. It re-opened as a cafe, exhibition space and gallery early in 2020 following a restoration project that also involved Morgan Sindall and architects AHR.

"It is a fantastic addition to the university's facilities and exhibition spaces," said Nic Clear, dean of the School of Art, Design and Architecture. "This beautifully developed project has preserved a unique building from Huddersfield’s industrial past by keeping exterior intact and retaining features from its original function as a factory bath house.”

scheme is set to expand the secondary school to provide new facilities such as a food technology room, extra science laboratory, additional classroom space, a larger canteen, and a separate external sports hall.

The project also includes construction of a temporary school facility which will house pupils relocated from the Grade II listed Hare Hall while work is carried out. The building was originally

designed by James Paine in 1768-69 and has functioned as the Royal Liberty School since 1921.

The contract follows the success of Romford’s flagship Sapphire Ice Rink and Swimming Pool, which opened in 2018. The development, which featured an ice rink on top of a suite of leisure facilities, was also constructed by Willmott Dixon. The refurbishment project is set to be completed by autumn 2021.



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