Bean Academic Centre

Reshaping the intellectual and cultural heart of the School Community

A major extension and refurbishment of the Bean Library and Cunliffe  was opened to pupils at the end of March 2016, and amenities for pupils have been transformed into a new Learning Resources facility named the Bean Academic Centre.

The award-winning design for the newly opened Bean Academic Centre celebrates the School’s reputation for academic excellent. Architecturally, it makes a bold and powerful statement whilst managing to remain sympathetic to its traditional surroundings.

With large classroom spaces, a lecture theatre, café and spaces where students can work together collaboratively or by themselves, it provides a state-of-the-art and resource rich environment within which students may develop their zest for independent learning.

The construction of the original Bean Library was completed in 1929 and remains standing on the first floor as a fitting memorial to our illustrious former Headmaster Edwin Bean (1891-1913) whilst preserving the character and integrity of the building. Consequently, it provides a pleasing contrast to the contemporary spaces.

The Library features better access to books and electronic resources than ever before and now includes a digital learning hub where, as the iPad initiative continues to roll out to other year groups, our student Digital Leaders will be on hand to help other students and staff develop digital literacy. The Library staff and Academic Fellows are also on hand from 8am to 6.30pm to help students with their work and advise them on finding the best resources.

On the ground floor of the Bean Academic Centre, there is space for children to meet and work. There is also a small cafeteria which provides refreshments throughout the School day. The new assembly space and lecture theatre lends itself to a more ‘university style’ learning environment with seminar and workshop areas, and is flanked by a new arcade which provides external social space and creates a veranda to the Shakespeare Garden. The large brick arches create a distinctive character for the building and reference the arches found most notably at the Chapel gate.

The adjacent Cunliffe Building previously provided classrooms for Classics, Learning Support and First Form tutor groups. Cunliffe now contains eight classrooms equipped with cutting edge technology, including new computer suites, interactive whiteboards, giant projector screens, and apple TV systems where they can connect multiple iPads to a large screen. In addition, the building provides the relocated Sanatorium, which is ideally located at the very centre of the School campus.

Finally, the building includes a number of innovative environmental technologies such as a highly insulated envelop and heat recovery units, an air source heat pump and photo-voltaic panels which provide sources of renewable energy.