Planning permission has been granted for proposals to build a new Boarding House for Gresham’s School in Holt on the site of the existing Oakeley Boarding House.
The £2.5 million project will provide a new boarding house to replace some of the outdated buildings on the site. The central portion of Oakeley House is over 100 years old and has been adapted over time but no longer provides the quality of accommodation the school requires. The careful refurbishment of the facilities that are set to remain, combined with a new building will create new and innovative living and social spaces for its occupants.
Gresham’s School is currently home to almost 300 boarders, and it is strongly believed that boarding helps young people to be responsible and considerate, promoting confidence and self-reliance. The renewed facilities reinforce the ethos of providing a vibrant and supportive boarding community for Gresham’s School pupils. Provisions are made for 50+ beds over 30 bedrooms, which will also act as study areas for day students.
Rupert Kitchen, Partner at LSI Architects commented that “Oakeley boarding house provides a homely environment where pupils can continue to study, integrate and relax with their friends, developing that essential bonding identity that life in a boarding house encourages.
The proposed development of Oakeley Boarding House aligns to North Norfolk District Council’s Core Strategy for the vision of Norfolk, seeking to retain a local distinctiveness that this wonderful area is known for.
A ‘fabric first’ approach has been adopted in the design to enhance the building’s performance. Components, materials and construction detailing – that make up the building fabric – combine to minimise the energy requirements for the building to achieve lower running costs, reduced maintenance requirements and optimise lifecycle costs.”
As the area’s largest private school, development of Gresham’s school will assist in achieving the desire to develop educational and training opportunities within North Norfolk. The North Norfolk LDF recognises Gresham’s school as a particular point of interest within the area, so the promotion of development of the school, reinforcing its presence within Holt, will have a positive impact on the community as a whole.
The original Oakeley House building featured a collection of decorative timber gables, most of which have since been built over or removed. The new scheme makes use of this decorative motif to instil some of the original building’s character within the new scheme. Making use of the approach towards the new entrance, the motif used on the existing Oakeley building will be referenced within the pathway materials to add texture, visual interest and continuity of Oakeley House identity.
The existing Oakeley boarding house buildings, which have been on the site for over 100 years, will be retained on site throughout the construction works to allow the facilities to continue being used by staff and students. After the completion of the new building, the school will remove the existing building, unlocking the courtyard space for renovation.