MAKING THE GRADE IN STAMFORD December 2014
Following a comprehensive refurbishment project, the old gym building at Stamford School in Lincolnshire has been transformed into an ultra modern Performing Arts Centre, with an external Timber Fin screening solution from Levolux.
The school, which was founded in 1532 and is now part of Stamford Endowed Schools – a group of three schools for boys and girls aged from 2-18 – can now offer pupils greatly enhanced spaces for performance, rehearsal and teaching.
Designed by GSS Architecture, the new Performing Arts Centre boasts a re-configured interior and a complementary exterior that reflects the building’s new identity as a facility that is dedicated to music and drama. To satisfy the client’s demanding requirements Levolux was invited to develop a custom external Timber Fin screening solution.
The solution comprises 478 rectangular shaped Timber Fins, fixed vertically to three elevations of the three-storey building. The vertical Fins are set at 236mm centres, extending to screen an area measuring almost 60 metres in length and up to 6.6 metres in height. Each Timber Fin, which measures 285mm deep by 44mm thick, is engineered from untreated Western Red Cedar.
Supplied from an FSC certified source, Western Red Cedar is a particularly popular material for external cladding as it is rot resistant and when left untreated over time it weathers to an attractive silver grey patina.
The Fins are secured back to the restored façade using a series of horizontal aluminium carriers. To prevent birds from perching and nesting between the Timber Fins, they are backed with expanded aluminium mesh panels. The diagonal lines of the mesh also create a contrasting aesthetic which complements the vertical Fins.
In addition, on two elevations at high level, the screening solution has been carefully cut back to create recesses for large circular signs. The signs feature a reproduction of the school’s distinctive crest, depicting a stork with outstretched wings above the school’s motto “Christ me Spede”.
Now refurbished, the school’s old gym building – which has since been superseded by a new sports centre and swimming pool – has been completely transformed. In its place stands the new Performing Arts Centre which becomes the school’s hub for music and drama. The dramatic change is perhaps most striking on the building’s exterior, thanks in part to the impressive Timber Fin screening solution from Levolux.