The Quarry Theatre at St Luke's, Bedford

Balancing respect for the old and celebration of the new

Foster Wilson Architects for Bedford School

Contract value: £4.3m

GIA: 1,395 m²

A redundant Moravian church has been transformed into a new theatre for Bedford School and local community. It strikes a balance between respect for the old and celebration of the new. 

  • · Credit: Philip Vile
  • · Credit: Philip Vile
  • · Credit: Philip Vile

Original features were preserved wherever possible, and detailing of the new materials and insertions is well thought through. The site offers the school an outward face to the street, while providing a more private and sheltered approach from the building. Problems with the two main entrances have been skilfully resolved; removal of one of the existing staircases to create a larger circulation space has been carefully dealt with so, rather than feeling like a major upheaval for the existing structure, it appears as a natural development.

A traditional contract allowed Foster Wilson Architects to control the construction quality of the project build, which is clearly evident in the final outcome. 

See other winners in the RIBA Regional Awards – East