New Boarding House, Worksop College

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Page\Park Architects were given the task of producing a building fully capable of meeting the varied needs of male boarding students whilst simultaneously preserving the architectural integrity and core identity of the school.


Founded in 1890 by pioneering educational reformer Nathanial Woodard, Worksop College occupies a stunning setting across 310 acres in the heart of Nottinghamshire’s rural landscape, at the boundary of the National Trust-owned Clumber Park. It is a co-educational, independent day and boarding school catering to the educational and pastoral needs of some 400 pupils between 12 and 18 years old.

Accommodating many of the school’s eight boarding houses, the main college building is a striking Tudor Revival-style Grade II listed property incorporating a range of fine architectural details. Recent growth in the numbers of boarding students, however, coupled with a pressing need to increase library, study and classroom space within the existing buildings, dictated the need for a new boarding house within the college grounds.

Page\Park Architects have created a stunning new purpose-designed facility that reflects the scale and historic architecture of Worksop College in a modern idiom. Positioned to the south front of the main building, the new £3.5 million boarding house provides state-of-the-art facilities for some 60 male boarders.

Designed over three storeys, it combines a regular pattern of storey-height fenestration with dramatic brick and stone detailing to create a strong vertical emphasis that acknowledges the existing historic vernacular.

To the southern elevation, wide columns of Ibstock Brick’s Red Multi brickwork take a lead from the historic facade of the old building, with a castellated effect realised in blond sandstone and rising to a parapet which matches the former’s scale and mass. To the north, contemporary styled eaves dormers help to reduce overall mass, while a single-storey brick built colonnade incorporating soldier-bonded archwork and a decorative string course signposts access and, in partnership with the adjacent girl’s house, offers a modern take on the traditional school quadrangle.

The design is both robust and sustainable, prioritising the use of high quality materials and green technologies in order to minimise energy usage and carbon emissions and promote the well-being of pupils.

To this end, the inclusion of brick within the building fabric is complemented by high-performance insulation to minimise heat loss; the exclusive use of LED lighting, and an internal layout which positions the majority of functional space at the south in order to benefit from solar gain.

Flooded with natural light via large storey-height windows that offer stunning vistas over Clumber Park, the modern interior is complemented to each floor by internal exposed flemish bond brick feature walls, which reinforce the aesthetic and technical qualities of this modern and versatile building material.