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Charterhouse’s new Science & Mathematics Centre wins prestigious RIBA award, night after official opening

Charterhouse adds RIBA South-East Regional Award to its existing Waverley Design Award for Best Education Centre 2019, the night after the centre was officially opened by Lord Mance PC.

Benefitting from over 400 years’ of teaching experience, Charterhouse’s aim was to revolutionise the way Science and Mathematics subjects are taught to its boys and girls, by creating an environment that nurtures inter-departmental collaboration. The new centre provides seven new chemistry laboratories with wet and dry teaching areas, five mathematics classrooms, two preparation rooms and a project research room and it’s easy to see why the buildings are so well regarded within the design and architectural industries.

Emma Humphreys, Estate Bursar, Charterhouse school said: “We are delighted with our new Science and Mathematics building and the new inspirational spaces within which to work and learn. Design Engine and the Contractor have worked hard to meet our briefing needs and have delivered a top class facility of which the school is rightfully proud”.

Indeed, architects Design Engine employed several very clever techniques to make the new modern building fit with the rest of the school buildings. The three steeply-pitched chimneys which correspond to the six chemistry labs below, create a subtle but sympathetic architectural link with the gothic revival and new-gothic character of the rest of the Charterhouse campus. The mix of contemporary and traditional materials also complements the existing buildings with a local handmade brick from Haywards Heath even being sourced to match with the Bargate rubble stone on the nearby buildings.

It’s hoped that the building will not only be enjoyed by staff and pupils of Charterhouse, but also the wider community. Charterhouse has a long-established programme of science outreach, including revision sessions for local GCSE students and a highly successful series of professional development workshops for science teachers. Charterhouse is also establishing a School Centred Initial teacher Training (SCITT) unit in partnership with the Institute of Physics to become a regional hub of science teacher education.

Naturally a building as unique and revolutionary as this has attracted a lot of interest both locally and from further afield. So it was no surprise that the building has already won two awards and that the opening event on Wednesday evening proved very popular with over 100 local dignitaries in attendance. The Mayor of Godalming, local counsellors, donors, contractors, staff and interested members of the local community all came together to see Lord Mance PC (a former Charterhouse pupil) cut the ribbon to open the new building officially. Visitors were treated to a welcome reception on the lawn outside, speeches, tours of the new building and live science demonstrations from pupils.



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