First Look – Balcarras Music School Remodelled

RRA are delighted to reveal proposals for ‘The Music School’, an extension to the music department at Balcarras School, Charlton Kings, Cheltenham. Our plans have been submitted for planning approval, and will represent an exciting addition to an institution already recognised by Ofsted as an outstanding school with ‘inspirational teaching’.

The proposals are the result of a close working collaboration between RRA, Balcarras School and Cheltenham based construction firm, Dowdeswell Estates. The scheme seeks to expand upon the existing music department, delivering dedicated new teaching, rehearsal & performance spaces.

A key part of the design approach was to prioritise a simplicity in form, whilst integrating subtle details to maximise the buildings’ aspirational potential. This was an important factor considering overall budgetary control and ensuring that the majority of the building elements would be suited to pre-fabrication and rapid on site construction.

The resultant flat roofed extension above the existing ground floor therefore allows for generous internal arrangement of space, facilitating a dual function for both teaching and recital. The verticality of the ‘rhythmic’ façade is a reference to musical patterns and that of the daily cycle, the idea being that varied shadows will be cast across the building throughout the school day.

Balcarras School Proposal 2

Speaking to the local press, Headmaster, Chris Healy explained how ‘The arts are a vital part of our school curriculum, and we are excited to be investing in new facilities for the enjoyment of, and participation with music in all its forms. It will be a pleasure knowing this project shall benefit future generations, embodying the collective commitment to excellence shared between school, pupils, parents and staff’.

The School have received a substantial donation from local benefactor, Julian Dunkerton, that shall go a long way towards making the proposed building work possible. RRA, along with the associated consultant & construction teams, have also agreed to carry out works at cost in order to assist the school and. ‘We are extremely grateful for such an extraordinary gesture of generosity and goodwill’ said Headmaster Chris. ‘However, we also know that further fundraising will be vital to bring the scheme to fruition, starting immediately’.

Work is due to commence July 2017, subject to planning permission & successful funding.

Interested in becoming a part of the school history & helping the school reach its funding target? Get in touch with the school here.

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