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New £3.2M Sixth Form centre uses 'striking' EQUITONE facade

The through coloured fibre cement material was chosen for its natural appearance and robustness

Posted by Hannah Vickers | July 18, 2017 | Facilities & buildings

A grammar school for boys has opened its new £3.2m sixth form centre using EQUITONE [tectiva] fibre cement facade material.

Westcliff High School for Boys, in Kenilworth Gardens, Westcliff-on-Sea, needed the expansion after an increase in pupil numbers. The new 1,200 m2 sixth form centre, which officially opened in May 2017, combines study areas and social spaces for around 350 students. The two-storey building includes a large multi-purpose space for group work, concerts and events. It also has four classrooms, two science labs, office space, a café and a kitchen.

EQUITONE [tectiva], a through coloured fibre cement material, was chosen for its aesthetically-pleasing natural appearance and robustness, which eliminates the need for ongoing maintenance or replacement.

Through this project, we wanted to create an environment which prepares students for university – the new centre offers this perfectly with an environment to do both private study and group work - David Partridge, Director of Resources and Support Services at Westcliff High School for Boys

David Partridge, Director of Resources and Support Services at Westcliff High School for Boys, hailed the project a major success.

He said: “Our sixth form has expanded significantly over the past six years, so we needed more space to accommodate the growing number of students. Through this project, we wanted to create an environment which prepares students for university – the new centre offers this perfectly with an environment to do both private study and group work. 

“As a school, we’re quite traditional and our buildings reflect this, so for this project we wanted something a bit different that stood out and put us on the map. The building is a statement and it has been very popular with students. We’re very happy with the finished project. It has given us a lot more space and the building is very striking from the outside.”

EQUITONE [tectiva] was used as the main rainscreen facade due to it being a lightweight yet an extremely durable material. 

The project architect at Barton Willmore, said: “The other buildings at the school are very traditional in their appearance; we wanted to be sensitive to these existing structures but also make sure the new sixth form centre stood out from the crowd. EQUITONE [tectiva] was the perfect material that allowed us to create a very modern looking and on trend building.”

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