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Stonar School, Wiltshire


Stonar School

Stonar is a co-educational independent boarding school for children aged 2-18, located in a dramatically open, green and rural Wiltshire setting. Alongside a cluster of teaching and residential buildings, including a listed building at its heart, the school has a world class riding academy which attracts students from around the world. The school is expanding and in need of additional accommodation. In addition, some existing buildings are in need of upgrade or repair.

The Head appointed Saunders to review the site as a whole and to develop a phased masterplan for the development of the site over a 15-year period. The first phase addresses the immediate needs and later phases allow for the comprehensive redevelopment and expansion of the site.

The site was analysed and constraints and opportunities diagrams prepared to summarise the findings of this research and highlight possibilities for change and development to meet the brief. We spent time on site to understand the shape of the school day, the patterns and movements. This enabled us to understand and document the groupings and relationships between functions. We identified public areas, private elements and the need to connect facilities with external spaces and gardens. Following lengthy discussions with the client, area schedules were prepared for the first phase.

The proposed strategy focused on consolidation of residential uses with a new boarding house to the north, allowing repurposing of existing buildings to separate curriculum areas from boarding areas. Refurbishment of existing teaching facilities allow improved performance and cater for increased student numbers. The proposed reinstatement of the original walled gardens to return to the historic layout provided breakout spaces and social areas as well as improving legibility. A new dining facility would replace the existing dining hall which is too small and poorly constructed. Later phases included allocations of zone for future development.

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