Conservation and Renewal
The Chilterns Buildings Design Awards 2013, Overall Winner
RICS East of England Awards 2011: Sustainability Award: Shortlisted
The Tring Park School for the Performing Arts is set within the historic context of Registered Parks and Gardens and Grade II* listed buildings (Tring Park being a former home of the Rothschild family) and situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the Hertfordshire countryside. Burrell Foley Fischer embarked on a feasibility study and masterplanning programme for a phased development comprising new performance studios, an art department, a sixth form centre and a new theatre space. While the accommodation in the existing buildings was rearranged to absorb smaller spaces, new extensions and buildings were conceived to provide for the professional spatial standards that would not fit within the confines of the historic structures. Planning Permission and Listed Building Consent were obtained for all three phases, including a ten-year landscape development plan to restructure the listed grounds.
The design of five new dance studios is rooted in the site's natural setting and takes a holistic approach to the environmental conditions related to dancers’ specific needs. The internal heights of the dance studios reach six metres at their curved apex and reduce to four towards the eaves. Externally, the eaves are kept intentionally low to reduce the profile of the building while the curved apex and wild flower meadow roof sensitively soften the building into the landscape. Post-occupancy feedback from the teachers and students has been extremely positive and enthusiastic. From the outset the building has been designed to be ideal for dance education and training, low in construction cost, highly thermally efficient with low running and maintenance costs, while the simplicity of the building will allow for future adaptation and flexible use.