More than Bricks and Mortar

Brentwood School’s Bean Academic Centre has won a 2016 Brick Award for Best Education Building. The Brick Awards are organised by the Brick Development Association and recognise the very best use of the material in new buildings.

The judges’ citation for Brentwood School said: “Brick was instrumental in the construction of the School’s Bean Academic Centre which as an educational environment was subject to a myriad of practical considerations.

“As an extension to the existing library, the subtle relief patterning of a heritage red blend brick provides an understated aesthetic, which gives a distinct character without detracting from the overall flow between buildings. This was articulated by one judge as ‘blending in easily while simultaneously bringing its own unique contribution.”

“As well as providing an essential learning space fit for expanding young minds, brick has also been used to refocus the School’s sense of communal centre, through the tasteful use of brick archways and a new brick arcade.”

Mr Jonathan Dawes and Mr Simon Tucker, of Cottrell & Vermeulen Architecture, were presented with their award by DIY SOS presenter Nick Knowles at an awards ceremony held in London.

The multi-award winning Bean Academic Centre - a two-storey extension to the existing library - opened its doors to students in March. The project also witnessed the redevelopment of an adjoining 1960s teaching block, increasing learning space and creating a sense of coherence between the buildings.

As well as creating an education hub that now meets 21st Century demands, the ground floor of the BAC was designed as a dedicated social area. An entrance portico links study and social spaces, offering a transition space that can be used for talks and lectures. A new arcade physically connects the School’s central gardens and takes inspiration from a nearby cloister, creating a picturesque backdrop to a stage lawn.