Cranbrook School Sixth Form Centre

Founded in 1518, Cranbrook School is a mixed grammar school with boarders. The school’s masterplan for redevelopment identified a new sixth-form centre for the school’s quincentenary celebrations at the top of its agenda. 

The brief was to convert the old ‘60s gym into a contemporary sixth-form centre that younger pupils aspire to, with designs that would galvanise a successful fund-raising drive within the school community and alumni. 

The gym is just too low to comfortably fit the 2 storeys needed. It is poorly ventilated, hot in summer and cold in winter. 

We were the only architects interviewed to avoid radical and costly changes to the building to fit in the 2 storeys, or to propose viable sustainable solutions for a healthy and comfortable interior environment.  

A few carefully thought out moves, executed between March and August 2017, provide light -filled, naturally-ventilated open-plan floors. A generous feeling of space and height. 

Strategic acoustic separation and acoustic dampening, coupled with large areas of thick frameless glass, enable very noisy social activities to coexist happily with quiet study. Noise was a significant problem in the last sixth form centre. 

Clay Architects work on Cranbrook School’s new Sixth Form Centre has been exemplary. 

Students, staff and parents have fed back unanimously and positively on the quality of the new building. In particular the segregation between the work space and the social space has been a revelation.  

The new structure has improved the work ethos and the study environment of our students beyond measure.  

All in all, a great design, a great building and real asset at a time when the school’s Sixth Form is becoming increasingly successful and popular.

John Weeds, Headteacher