Haileybury School Boarding House

Studio E Architects, Hertfordshire, 2002


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The timber-slatted jetty, which overlooks the water, seems tailor-made for intense adolescent conversations 

Peter Cook/VIEW (website)     Download Original

  • The timber-slatted jetty, which overlooks the water, seems tailor-made for intense adolescent conversations    
  • The development is built on a sloping site in order to minimise its impact on the landscape    
  • The skewed plan of the building capitalises on the site’s complexity, allowing existing trees to be retained    
  • The mature trees and pond remain from the days when the land formed part of the headmaster    
  • Internal finishes look pristine after a year    
  • Furnishings were not specified by the architect    
  • The boarding house, as seen at night time    
  • Escape stairs are strongly detailed in steel    
  • Site plan    
  • Ground floor plan    
  • First floor plan    
  • Garden plan    
  • Section    
  • Working detail: cutaway isometric of drainage system    
  • Working detail: plan of connection at roof level    

Girls boarding house to accommodate 120 pupils in what was originally a private boys school, only recently adapted to become co-educational

Conscious of its sensitivity – the whole of the Haileybury campus lies within the Metropolitan Green Belt – the school and its architects (working with PTP Landscape and Urban Design) sought to build in sympathy with the context, with the retention of existing trees a priority.

Built on a sloping site and partially over a pond, the building creates a variety of spaces – from the more open communal areas at low level, through to the larger dormitory areas for the junior girls and the single-person study-bedrooms in the top floor.

Externally, the completed house makes use of handmade Sussex brick, render and timber, with gently pitched stainless steel-clad roofs draining into a central gutter – rainwater is discharged via a dramatic shovel-ended pipe into the pond. Escape stairs are strongly detailed in steel.


  • Begun: Sep 1998
  • Completed: 2002
  • Floor area: 1,723m2
  • Sectors: Education, Residential
  • Total cost: £5M
  • Tender date: May 1998
  • Procurement: Two stage tender
  • Address: Haileybury, Hertfordshire, SG13 7NU, United Kingdom

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