An innovative focal point for science learning at Uppingham School.
Uppingham School provides a rich all-round education in a similarly rich mixture of historic and contemporary buildings. The school is based over several sites within the heart of a small Rutland town, with most of its more recent sports and academic buildings located at the expanding Western Campus where Orms completed a new multi-use sports centre in 2010. Destination Science, a new hub for Uppingham’s science learning, is an architectural response to the headmaster’s vision of ‘evoking the Renaissance’ by connecting artistic and scientific subjects to actively encourage academic curiosity between the disciplines.
The new building connects science both physically and intellectually with sport, art, drama and mathematics with three complementary volumes arranged in an L shape around a grassy quadrangle. The first of these volumes, the southern wing, is predominantly glass and offers visual connections between street and quadrangle. This is a dynamic space shared between school and public, and with a variety of uses: reception area, buttery, resource centre, exhibition space and also foyer to ground floor lecture theatre. The upright of the L is a more private three-storey laboratory and classroom wing which shelters the western side of the new quad. Here, learning and support spaces are arranged to allow for a number of layouts and options for future subdivision. The third and final volume is a ‘jewel box’, framed with anodised aluminium, which sits above the southern wing and houses an outdoor classroom, eco-lab and triple height atrium for the display of scientific artefacts and artworks. Passivhaus principles have been adopted throughout, with low energy technologies and combined heat and power and water conservation systems shared with other buildings on the site.