We have recently completed a feasibility study to rejuvenate a music department for a primary school in Kent. The project was instigated by our annual social enterprise initiative. This is where we offer pro-bono work to a chosen submission that is deserving of improvement, with the aim of kick-starting funding to become a reality.
The existing space has been heavily relied upon, due to the schools esteemed reputation of supporting gifted musicians, and is in need of revision and enhancement. Currently the department is defined by low ceilings, non-existent storage and lack of an appropriate performance area.
Our proposal looks to compartmentalise the large volume with modular elements. This will improve multi-functionality but add order and spatial separation when required for recitals and events. Semi-permeable timber storage units would house the instrument library, whilst heavy curtain walls can be swept across as temporary dividers. Two tone harlequin vinyl flooring, used by the National Ballet, will not only define a central performance space, but also accommodate the schools dance classes. Adjustable ballet barres flank the length of a mirrored wall; enhancing the illusion of increased floor area and enlightening the space.
With a modest budget imperative and minimal disruption essential, we examined how existing commonplace elements could be reused and altered into forms more considered and functional. The low-slung ceiling would be removed, exposing triangular timber trusses above; articulating a more sophisticated canopy that would improve acoustics. Existing punctured skylights would bask the interior with natural light and illuminate the re-established beams. Surplus ceiling tiles would then be subsequently used as cupboard panelling and pin boards. Additional joinery would be constructed to standard sizing, keeping costs down and simplifying the scheme.
This design proposal primarily looks to enhance the creative education of the pupils at the school, granting an inviting and energising platform in which pupils can embrace expression.