A Radical Blend of Heritage and Modernity

Dale Potts
The 6th form of Richmond School was opened by the town's local MP, William Hague. Mr Hague congratulated the project team from Faithful+Gould and Atkins, saying: "[The project] has been built on schedule and to budget, providing the sort of environment our young people should have to aid their studies."

The new 6th form centre for Richmond School in North Yorkshire showcases a radical design which blends the architectural heritage of a previous century with the needs of modern education.

A multi-disciplinary project team from Faithful+Gould and Atkins undertook extensive master-planning and re-modelling of the existing campus, which contains a diverse range of buildings reflecting architectural trends of the last 70 years.

Faithful+Gould's lead technical advisor, Paul Shillito commented:

"The project presented the challenge of upgrading a complex set of existing buildings in a live school to a fixed budget. Minimising disruption to the day-to-day activities was top of the agenda and informed the way we carried out work."

Atkins' project lead John Ross added:

"Our design needed to be sensitive to the existing features of this 1940s school, whilst updating it to create a 21st century specialist 6th form facility. The secret was to retain the building's distinctive identity whilst integrating it into a unified campus for Richmond School."

William Hague MP

Opening the new centre Richmond's MP, Shadow Foreign Secretary William Hague commented:
"This is the first stage of the important redevelopment of Richmond School. It has been built on schedule and to budget, providing the sort of environment our young people should have to aid their studies."

The project team provided the following services to the Richmond School project:

  • Architecture

  • Structural, mechanical and electrical engineering

  • Landscape architecture

  • Acoustics


  • Project management

  • Quantity surveying

Facilities for the 350 6th form students include a welcoming reception, bistro and internet café with wide screen TV, computer/common room, quiet study area and offices. Classrooms boast desks with hidden computer screens, interactive white boards and projectors. A 300 seater theatre will be used for performances and assemblies. There are also dance studios and changing facilities adjacent to the stage.

Richmond School is one of only 3 funded sustainability exemplars for the Department of Children, Schools and Families' (DCSF) Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme. The remaining phases of the scheme are due to be completed late 2011. Situated within a market town with a large catchment area, the redeveloped school will accommodate 1,700 students.