Davenies School, Beaconsfield

A robust and joyful environment

· Credit: Dennis Gilbert

DSDHA for Davenies School

Contract value: Undisclosed

GIA: 450m2

Davenies is an independent school for boys aged 4 to 13. DSDHA’s project involves the replacement of a 1980s building to provide 10 classrooms, breakout spaces, external play areas, library, hall and staff facilities. The new building is uncompromisingly contemporary without being harsh. The plan gives a constant connection to the landscape by nestling into it, providing intimate, light-filled external spaces. Different views and features have been framed and the classrooms are flooded with light.

  • · Credit: Dennis Gilbert
  • · Credit: Dennis Gilbert
  • · Credit: Dennis Gilbert

The change in materials references the old, breaks down the scale and mass of the new and helps the building to recede into the landscape. Internally, the spaces flow well and circulation is controlled. All this provides a robust and joyful environment that is calming and nurturing without being condescending to the child. Within the constrained and sometimes pastiche surroundings of Beaconsfield, this building should stimulate the public to think about the power of architecture.

See other winners of the RIBA Regional Awards 2016 – South