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In 2013 Walters & Cohen won a competition to design a new library and sixth form centre at Reigate Grammar School in Surrey. Founded in 1675, RGS is a co-ed independent school with about 900 pupils, many of whom benefit from the school’s extensive bursaries and scholarship programme.

We first undertook a masterplan and space audit of the school’s existing facilities, which were spread across two sites. At that time, the small parcel of land between them became available and was the ideal site for the new building, which benefitted from a generous grant from the Peter Harrison Foundation.

The new red-brick building reflects the materials, massing and pitched-roof typology of the attractive Victorian school estate. Inside, the library has a wonderfully calm atmosphere. Light filters in from the rooflights at the peak of the building, and bookshelves frame views across the peaceful old churchyard. The acoustic treatment means that independent learning and small group work can take place side by side without fuss. Comfortable furniture and varied work spaces on both floors give pupils more choice of how they would like to study.

The sturdy exposed trusses and sense of openness continue throughout the building, connecting the library with the classrooms and offices either side. On the ground floor, the sixth form centre is a generous, mature space for study, socialising and lunch. Pupils and staff love the building, which has been described as ‘the knot in the bow tie of the school’.

More photos to follow.

Client Reigate Grammar School
Total value Confidential
Completion January 2018
Area 1,620 m2
QS Holloway Squire Partnership
Structure AKT II
Building Services Max Fordham LLP
Landscape Rummey Design
Contractor Beard Construction
Planning consultant Blue Sky Planning
Project manager Holloway Squire Partnership
Acoustics Max Fordham LLP
Lighting Max Fordham LLP
Sustainability consultant Eight Associates

Education Masterplanning


  Photographs / Drawings

©Dennis Gilbert/VIEW

©Dennis Gilbert/VIEW

Site photo (November 2016)

Site photo (February 2017)