Eric Parry Architects for Wells Cathedral School
Contract value: £6.2m
‘The building is still showing us new possibilities for performance,’ says headmistress Elizabeth Cairncross. Cedars Hall works with the school’s former regular venue, Wells Cathedral, for teaching, learning and performance of music.
Acoustic requirements dictated the volume of the recital hall, which can seat an audience of 400. To minimise the impact on the landscape and maintain views to the cathedral, the performance space was partially buried and a set-back clerestory introduced.
The hall has elegant proportions; huge recessed glazed screens punctuate the equally massive Corten walls. Neither material has a single joint and each panel is 5.2m high by 2m wide. The controversial choice of Corten steel cladding has proven inspired; it changes with the light, while giving the impression of having always been there.
Regional Building of the Year