Art and Design Technology Centre links old with the new

 

As the roof is added to Pocklington School’s new Art and Design Technology Centre, the architect behind it has explained the inspiration behind the sweeping lines of the building.   Simon Mitchell, of the Mitchell Design Consultancy, York, has designed an attractive building whose soft and traditional exterior complements the school’s rural setting.

Work is now well underway on the £2.5 million Art and Design Technology Centre; Phase One of the building is due to be handed over at the end of May 2017, with Phase Two by the end of October 2017.  The original 1969 Art and Design Centre, a single-storey structure out of keeping with the rest of the school, is being removed to make way for the new Centre and Mr Mitchell was keen to begin afresh.

He said: “When studying the site plan, it seemed obvious that the footprint and orientation of the old Art and Design building didn’t enhance sight lines and had no relationship with the neighbouring buildings.

“I listened to the considered arguments and debates in the early days of the concept and thought widely and spatially (with my pencil) to sketch a radius that would visually create a link between all the buildings and the open fields beyond.”

Mr Mitchell settled on York handmade brick (to link back to the main school buildings), restrained colours and materials. He selected dark grey zinc for the roof covering and Corten, or weathering steel, for the vertical detailing because it has a striking rust-like finish, which doesn’t need repainting.  The working spaces, studios and workshops will have unpainted cement walls, polished concrete floors and exposed steel columns and roof beams.

Mr Mitchell said: “Concrete floors can be power washed if they become filthy, otherwise I am hopeful they will over the years, build up a patina, created by countless students’ spilt paint and plaster sculpting.  It’s always a pleasure working with Pocklington School. Its academic prowess, married with the creativity and innovation it fosters, ensures that one’s own creativity in design and architecture is allowed full expression. I hope the new Art and Design Technology Centre will further enhance the forward thinking, optimistic and thriving community that is Pocklington School.”

The project has been the focus of a major Campaign by the School to raise funds to build the new Centre in support of the next phase of the School’s strategic development plan.  Designed to inspire the pursuit of traditional arts and crafts, plus provide cutting edge facilities for digital imaging, editing, animation and computer-aided design and manufacturing technology, the new Centre will greatly enhance the pupils’ experience.

Thanks to the tremendous generosity of all those who have supported the Campaign so far, the School Governors were delighted to announce that the Campaign total has reached £1,700,000, with £300,000 still to be raised to reach the target of £2 million.

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