Caterham School, Surrey

Client: Caterham School

Architect:  Miller Bourne Architects

Contractor: Buxton Building and Baxall Construction

Value:  £10 million

Caterham School is an independent co-educational day and boarding school located in Caterham, Surrey. Thomasons acted as structural engineers for a series of improvements to the school.

The Davey Building comprises thirteen purpose-built science laboratories and a 250-seat refectory. The refectory is located on the ground floor, with the laboratories on the other three storeys. The structure is cut into the side of a chalk hill and is constructed using traditional load-bearing masonry with a steel core.

The North Wing is a multi-functional space that houses maintenance workshops, accommodation and offices. It is constructed using a reinforced concrete frame with flat slabs, giving the slenderness of floor necessary to link the different floor levels with the floors in the existing buildings; it also provided the required acoustics and a level soffit to simplify the services installation.

Maximum use was made of the roof space by using a strutted timber structure to comply with a planning requirement to restrict the ridge level.

The Leathem Room consists of six new classrooms built above existing buildings. The existing space was modified to create a high-quality social space, including a terrace that overlooks the school’s main sports ground. The new structure is made of lightweight steel and timber.  Much of the existing structure was justified to support the additional load from the new structure above and, where this was not feasible, we designed sympathetic strengthening.

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