International College for The King's School, Canterbury

New College creates home from home for international pupils

In 2016 the King’s School asked Walters & Cohen to undertake a feasibility study for a 1.25-hectare ex-industrial site on the edge of Canterbury’s city centre.

This study resulted in an updated masterplan for the site that includes an International College, six houses for staff, a flood-lit sports court with changing facilities, and a new drama centre and theatre in the 19th-century Malthouse building (undertaken by another practice). The scheme was granted consent with unanimous support from the City of Canterbury’s planning committee in March 2017.

The International College teaches students aged 11-16, acting as a stepping-stone for those entering the English school system from abroad. In consultation with the school we developed designs for a three-storey building that wraps around a private courtyard. The building comprises 34 en suite bedrooms with boarding for 80 students, several flats for staff, classrooms, and specialist teaching facilities.

In keeping with the site’s industrial heritage, the building is clad in steel that will weather well and elegant concrete, complimenting the Malthouse building adjacent. The relationship between the two buildings is strengthened by the landscape: a civic square between them is an important focal point of the campus.

The building won a RIBA South East Award and a RIBA National Award in 2021, as well as Best New Building in a Conservation Area and Overall Winner (jointly awarded with the Malthouse) at the 2021 Canterbury Society Design Awards. It was highly commended in the 2022 Civic Trust Awards.


2021RIBA South East Award

2021RIBA National Awards

2021Canterbury Society Design Awards: New Building in a Conservation Area

2021Canterbury Society Design Awards: Overall Winner (jointly awarded with the Malthouse)

2022Civic Trust Awards – highly commended


ClientThe King's School, Canterbury

Total valueConfidential

CompletionMay 2019

Area3,000 m2


Structural engineerPrice & Myers

Building ServicesSkelly & Couch

LandscapeBradley-Hole Schoenaich

Planning consultantHobbs Parker

Project managerFanshawe

ContractorR Durtnell & Sons; Coombs