Significant extension and alteration works have begun on the collection of Grade II Listed and historically significant buildings which form Whitelaw, a boarding house at Rugby School, one of the oldest independent schools in Britain.
Dating back to the early 19th Century, Whitelaw House is one of Rugby School’s largest and first purpose built boarding houses, with the first dormitory block constructed in 1874 and another prominent block added in 1887.
Primarily, the internal works are to increase room sizes and to improve the flow and use of the building so that it can perform most effectively. The extension within the courtyard is to have a modern aesthetic and will be detailed to contrast with the existing structures, allowing for visually appealing interactions while also enabling the building’s history to be easily read.
This remodel will allow for inclusive usage, as an accessible bedroom has also been included to the ground floor to enable students with different needs to be able to live easily amongst their peers.
This project has also presented an opportunity for us to work with the school to establish how sensitive upgrades can be made to the building fabric. This will involve lining external walls, upgrading existing fenestration and increasing the presence of insulation throughout. An understanding of how to increase buildings’ environmental performance in a heritage context is an increasingly important aspect of working with Independent Schools.
We are working alongside main contractor, Steele & Bray, and Architects GSSArchitecture on this scheme, which is the second project that we have been involved in at Rugby School, having previously worked as Quantity Surveyors for the construction of a new boarding house at the school in 2019.