Over the years, Withington Girls’ School, one of the top schools in the country for academic achievement, has expanded organically without a clear vision for the estate. We were invited to provide a masterplan vision for the school, looking at how we could improve and expand the existing facilities within a very restricted site. We identified spaces in an external courtyard that were offering very little use to teachers or pupils, seeing these awkward nooks and crannies as an opportunity to provide additional facilities.
The external courtyard has been transformed into a new internal hub, creating a multifunctional space for the whole school. Central to this is the existing two storey octagonal arts building, which has been kept and a new roof added at first floor level to link it to the surrounding buildings. Connecting to and creating the fourth side of the hub at the rear of the site is the new junior school. This new structure infills space between the existing sports hall and sixth form centre to provide eight new classrooms, alongside a hall, IT suite, library, staff office, storage rooms and changing areas.