Client: Major UK University
Services: Architecture

Owned by the University of Reading, this 19th Century manor house is home to the School of Law. We were approached to submit drawings for the construction of an extension alongside the existing Stable Block, to be utilised predominantly as an admin area, but also incorporating a flexible teaching space. The layout of the building was arranged as a series of five rooms, accessed off a main corridor and fed directly from the existing building.

 

The scheme had already received planning approval under the previous architects who had designed the building as Phase 2 of an overall plan. The Phase 1 extension to the opposite side of the Stable Block had been constructed two years previous. Our brief was to complete the Phase 2 scheme identical in construction and detailing to the first courtyard extension.

 

With very few detailed drawings archived from the Phase 1 extension, our challenge was to identify the final construction techniques used and, with input from the client, recognise minor downfalls of the previous extension so as not to mirror these in producing an identical building. After substantial liaison with the Planning and Listed Building departments, suitable amendments were made and resubmitted to enable the Phase 2 extension to reach completion.

 

Challenges:
• The school and the university raised additional budget to compensate spend on additional surveys and construction costs.
• Bats within the roof space of the stable block halted works until a licence or approval to proceed was gained from Natural England
• As a Listed building, the Conservation Officer had to approve some particular specifications during construction.

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