St. Mary’s School is an independent girl’s school in Cambridge that prides itself on nurturing students and cultivating individuals with a broad social vision after the example of Mary Ward, its founder.
vHH are currently working on a series of refurbishment and new build developments for the School, two of which are highlighted below. The objective of the projects is to improve facilities for existing students, to provide the spaces essential to teaching a modern curriculum, and to support a forward-thinking pedagogical approach. It was necessary to carefully think through our sustainability options for this project as it encompasses a wide variety of works within the overall masterplan, with each element requiring a bespoke approach.
Refurbishment on Bateman Street
The first element of the project rationalises internal spaces to create larger classrooms, improves spatial use, signage and accessibility, and creates a large, new entrance lobby to ensure the school is more open to the street and the community. The thermal performance of the building fabric is improved at each point of intervention.
Creative Arts Hub
The second project is a new Creative Arts Hub. The building adds to the School’s existing provision of art rooms, with large spaces for teaching Resistant Materials, Textiles and Food Technology, as well as large art rooms that overlook the Botanic Gardens. The building will be Passivhaus designed to ensure the highest possible energy efficiency. The primary structure will be cross laminated timber to reduce embodied energy and sequester carbon. Self-supporting brick cladding will give a high quality and long-lasting finish, that is in keeping with the nature of the conservation area it sits in.