We have recently learned that our Ashbee Theatre, which was opened in May 2015, was shortlisted in the ‘Best Educational Building’ category at the Local Authority Building Control (LABC) South East Awards 2016.
Although we didn’t go on to win the category, we are thrilled to have been nominated. The LABC Awards is a celebration of the construction industry recognising the creation of excellent buildings, technical innovation, sustainability and high performance.
The nomination recognises the beautiful mix of the use of traditional materials with modern design. Set against the existing Arts and Crafts main school building, the new building offers a clean style and a modern contrast to the elaborate features of the Grade II Listed boarding house. The initial design, up to planning, was completed by Walters & Cohen Architects then all detailed coordination and interior layout was completed by KSS.
The new Performing Arts Centre, which includes the Ashbee Theatre and Dance Studio, is linked to the original building via an impressive glass corridor which houses the Main Reception. It encloses a marvellously landscaped courtyard garden, open to pedestrian access and very much for the use of the entire community.
The theatre has retractable seating for up to 400 and advanced sound and light systems, providing a wonderful performance space and event venue. David Swann, Feltonfleet’s new Director of Drama, said, “We are currently in final rehearsals for our Year 5 production of Godspell taking place next week. To have the use of a dedicated performance space and access to all its technology, makes for an enhanced drama experience for our pupils.”
Headmaster, Alastair Morrison said, “We are thrilled to have the use of this wonderful new facility for our Performing Arts team. Those incredibly talented teachers deserve little less than this outstanding Theatre, Drama and Dance studio. With it comes a new front to the school, for which praise has been pouring in. A face which is more fitting with the fantastic school community within.”
The facility, which cost the school in excess of £2m to build, is the latest in a long line of improvements to the school which has seen significant developments over the past few years – including a brand new floodlit Astro pitch, swimming pool and the major refurbishment of the school’s junior department.
Jason McKinlay, Bursar at Feltonfleet said – “The Governors and the business team at Feltonfleet are committed to investment in the school. Prep schools are a fiercely competitive market and we strive to add value wherever we can.”
To see further images of the new building visit our Gallery Page.