A tight schedule and close scrutiny to conservation characterise this roof and wall project for Kingsdown House, a new boarding accommodation at The King’s School, Canterbury. The architects faced a complex brief on a site scrutinised by planners, conservation teams and Historic England, due to its proximity to a World Heritage Site.
The King’s School site abuts the historic city wall in Canterbury, which is a scheduled ancient monument and is near Canterbury Cathedral, a World Heritage Site. Therefore, any proposed new buildings are closely evaluated and must demonstrate a high degree of quality, with a correspondingly detailed specification to satisfy this requirement.
The build also needed to be completed to suit the school’s academic timetable, and logistical complexities meant a tight delivery schedule needed to be devised and strictly adhered to.
Clay tiles are a prominent feature of many buildings in Kent and specifically in this part of Canterbury. Walters & Cohen drew inspiration from local architecture and construction techniques, interpreting these with contemporary detailing and working with Wienerberger to ensure the roof tiles reflected the elegance and quality of the neighbouring buildings.
Rather than using modern interlocking tiles, the new building is clad in Wienerberger’s Alban Sussex Blend tiles, a versatile choice for both aesthetic and practical reasons. The tiles were chosen because they enabled the architects to use a single material for the roof and walls. The result is a simple, attractive façade that complements the local architecture and construction techniques. It’s a simple look that conceals the complex detailing required for the project.
To further assist with the detailed specification, Wienerberger’s Alban Sussex Blend bespoke Mansard and Gutter tiles were specially hand made for use at the eaves junction with the wall. The tiles to be used under the windows were again cut with precision and fixed using a dedicated Wienerberger adhesive. On the apex, rather than using the traditional Winchester cut, the architect required a neat straight line to achieve the desired composition and give a contemporary look.
Speaking about the project, Rob Hill, Associate Director of Walters & Cohen Architects said, “The project needed to suit the school’s academic timetable, therefore very careful project management was essential. We completed the project on time and within budget and are delighted with how the finished building looks. The Wienerberger products we specified reflect the architectural heritage of the site, and their specialist knowledge also made them a highly suitable partner for the project.”
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