The Science Centre, Uppingham School

ORMS, Uppingham, 2014


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Kilian O'Sullivan (website)     Download Original

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New 'L' shaped building comprising three complementary volumes around a grassed quad with laboratories, classrooms, a lecture theatre, exhibition space and the buttery

The Science Centre is the final phase of the Uppingham School Western Quad master plan. The ‘L’ shaped building comprises of three complementary volumes around a grassed quad, which physically and intellectually connects science with sport, art, and mathematics.

The brief was to create a destination for top science teachers and pupils, put it on the radar of university departments and reach out to other schools. The ethos is to open up science to all, and facilitate links with other academic and extracurricular pursuits.

The school reviewed their estate in 2004 and initiated a series of estate plans and feasibility studies. These were developed by Orms into a masterplan which was presented to the local planning authority in 2007.

With the Science Centre and Western Quad abutting the conservation area the local authority was keen to see the final phase of the masterplan implemented upon completion of the Sports Centre in 2010. The planning authority was concerned with the height and massing of the building, use of materials and the overall site context
In response a three-storey steel frame with precast concrete plank floors lab and classroom wing forms the western block of The Science Centre. It is clad in English cross bond brickwork panels that incorporate air intake and exhaust. The southern wing houses the public and school-life functions such as the lecture theatre, exhibition space, and the buttery and is clad in cast stone with Clipsham stone infills.

The ‘Jewel Box’ sits on top of the southern wing and provides an outdoor teaching terrace, project rooms, an eco-lab and atrium. It is clad in anodised aluminium to complement the local ironstone colour and cantilevers over the entrance.


  • Begun: Aug 2012
  • Completed: Apr 2014
  • Floor area: 4,181m2
  • Sector: Education
  • Total cost: £14M
  • Procurement: design and build
  • CO2 Emissions: 17.7kg/m2/year
  • Address: Uppingham School, Uppingham, LE15 9QD, United Kingdom

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