School Hall, Whaddon

We were approached by the Wynstones Waldorf Steiner School to design a performance and movement hall for a key part of the Steiner curriculum.

The school had been unsuccessful in pursuing conventional building approaches and clearly wanted something different, and to try and use the project as an example of what timber design can achieve.

Probably due to our links with oak frame buildings, it filtered through to them that there may be an architectural practice crazy enough to propose self build, and one which was not phased by taking on such challenging projects.

The scheme became an education opportunity, with the pupils gathering from all over the ‘Steiner World’ for a summer camp to construct Belfast lattice truss frames and their supports - very much as would have been achieved for First World War aircraft hangers - with the appointment of a building team to then erect the building in the autumn.

Such an approach is highly collaborative, and we are fortunate to know and work with a structural engineer who is not phased by challenging schemes, and who brings a dynamic energy and clarity to our projects; where, it is fair to say, structure is a key driver.

So a big thank you to Nigel Challis for what is a truly stunning creation.

The project was featured in Green Building Vol 17 No 2, and an on-line version of the article can be retrieved

School Hall Whaddon, North East Elevation of Hall School Hall Whaddon, Pupils Working on Building Structure
School Hall Whaddon, Pupils Working on Building Structure Schoold Hall Whaddon, Interior View of Main Hall