Taunton School have revealed their new dining and catering facility, which both increases dining capacity and gives the school a more flexible space which can be used by the wider community.
Wotton Donoghue Architects were commissioned by Taunton School in January 2017 to develop a campus wide masterplan. The recently completed dining and catering facility was the first project from the masterplan to be delivered; it was formerly opened by HRH The Princess Royal on 9 December.
The 1000m2 building replaces a former sixth form study space and back of house catering areas that prevented enjoyment of the adjacent central green space.
Due to the facility needing to serve more than 1,300 pupils and 300 staff throughout the year, a more efficient servery system was essential. The new facility cuts average pupil queue times from in excess of 20 minutes down to less than four minutes.
The dining hall provides over 440 covers in one dual use hall and caters for pupils from nursery through to sixth form.
The halls can be sub-divided by a centrally located ‘hit and miss’ part glazed acoustic mobile partition to create two separate function rooms, each offering IT and AV capabilities to suit a range of ancillary activities for the school and the wider community.
The building’s design respects the architectural axis established by the school’s central stair tower, which is expressed as a feature within the hall via a new interfacing glazed roof lantern.
A number of original façades to the interfacing buildings were restored, providing character to the dining hall interior. Sustainable self-finished materials have been used to create a warm and open plan space, which opens out onto the adjacent lawned quad and external terracing. Highly glazed façades optimise daylight penetration, along with roof lights and passive ventilation turrets set at roof level.
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