Restoration and substantial structural changes to a 1930s steel and masonry building, originally designed for the art school. Includes a new structural glass northlight and new stair fabricated from steel plate.

The art school at Stowe was purpose-built and designed by the architect R Fielding Dodd in the 1930s, late in his career and atypical of his overall body of work.

It had a rendered masonry envelope, internal load-bearing walls, with steel framing and a dramatic double-height north-lit studio space on the upper floor.

The building had degraded badly over the years and was in a poor state of repair. Poor interventions had taken place. Extensions had been added, with a mezzanine inserted across the studio space in more recent years.

Our work with Rick Mather Architects involved a complete refurbishment of the building to meet the modern requirements of the school’s art department, while improving its overall integrity and energy performance and carefully restoring the building fabric to ensure it’s longevity.

A gallery for the display of students’ work was introduced and a new mezzanine built which restored the integrity of the studio space. The north light was also replaced by large frameless insulated glass units. An additional floor was added over a large part of the roof area. Circulation was rationalised with a new steel staircase and the building was wrapped in new insulation and re-rendered.

Buckingham, UK

Stowe School

Rick Mather Architects