Oak, Charterhouse School, Shortlisted for the AJ Retrofit Awards 2023

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David Morley Architects is pleased to announce that a new kitchen and dining space named Oak, within Charterhouse School, has been shortlisted for the 2023 AJ Retrofit Awards under the Schools and Further Education category.

This achievement, recognises the successful application of core principles when refurbishing the interior of an existing Grade II listed building, which met the objectives of the client’s brief in terms of comfort, functionality and cost. Creating a setting with excellent daylighting and thermal comfort, with reduced energy in use, was an important design aspiration of the client, to be achieved within the constraints of a listed building.

Located within the heart of the school, the listed fabric of the previously underutilized existing buildings has been the given a new long-term reuse by retaining the existing envelope and structure, rather than expending the carbon cost of building a new dining facility elsewhere on the site.  The temptation to replace the existing roof behind the visual screen of the colonnades with a new roof was also resisted, resulting in reduced embodied carbon than if it had been replaced with new.  Instead the heritage features of the existing pitched roofs and structure are celebrated by removing false ceilings and exposing the vaulted roofs and chimneys to add character and variety to the spaces below.

The new café and dining facility is incredibly popular with pupils and staff alike. The scheme has created a huge improvement to the heritage buildings on the site through creating a contemporary open-plan facility, bound by the existing colonnade, that brings in light and views, so that the setting adjacent to Scholars Court can be truly enjoyed.

The practice used sustainability strategies that improved insulation and added a new thermal lining to the existing roof. New highly insulated windows, doors and rooflights were installed into new and existing openings, improving the thermal performance and airtightness of the existing envelope. New low-energy lighting and radiators were also installed. Heavyweight stone walls were retained so that the thermal mass of the existing buildings kept the dining room cool without the need for artificial cooling. Destratification fans were utilised to focus heat during the winter months into occupied spaces.

The winners of each category will be announced on the 30th of March 2023.

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