A crumbling science block has been rebuilt using Equitone fibre cement facade material to give a striking and contemporary exterior to the new facilities.
The former 1950s building at Harrogate Grammar School, in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, was in desperate need of being replaced with up-to-date science facilities for both the students and teachers. Bowman Riley Architects specified Equitone [natura] in colour Anthracite for the new science block to juxtapose with the original, more traditional existing building to create a prominent addition to the school’s campus.
Architect Richard Berry said: “The client was looking for an impactful, statement building that would help regenerate an incredibly underused internal courtyard area at a pivotal location within the school.
“The natural and soft texture of Equitone [natura] responds well to the 1930s red brick buildings in the surrounding courtyard, providing a contemporary and modern approach. The sharp yet subtle appearance of the facade panels provide the ideal backdrop to emphasise the red PPC aluminium feature details to the window surrounds and external pod entrance.”
Harrogate Grammar School, an independent academy trust with more than 1,850 pupils, received £1m funding from the Education Skills Funding Agency to create the new science block. Headteacher Richard Sheriff said: “Staff and students who used the rooms in the former science block will know the problems we had with heating, water leaks and failing windows.
“We have now demolished the original building and replaced it with four new laboratories and a preparation room. Science is a key area of the curriculum and this project has allowed our students to further their interest and enthusiasm of the subject.”
Equitone [natura] offers a tactile smooth surface which allows the textures of the fibre cement to show through the facade. All of the company’s materials are available in a range of colours, finishes and fixing options, giving full creative scope. In addition, Equitone meets the reaction to fire classification A2-s1, d0, making it suitable for a variety of building types. It also has a minimum life expectancy of at least 50 years.