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Bennett Memorial Diocesan School

The £1.2m Palmer Building for the Bennett Memorial Diocesan School was carefully considered to create a courtyard at the social ‘heart’ of the school, and avoid development on ‘green’ areas.

The layout is a simple linear plan with 5 classrooms on the ground and first floor, stacked one on top of the other. All of the classrooms face north, maximising the views, and utilising the diffuse, ‘non-glare’ north light.

bennetts school sixth form

A 15 degree mono-pitch roof to the classrooms, with a 2 degree sedum roof to the circulation / services element allows a more traditional material to be utilised on one roof while the second ensuring that the scale of the building is in keeping with those in the courtyard. The installation of solar pre-heating of hot water helps to reduce running costs.

The sixth form centre provides a flexible learning environment for 6th form students with their own single storey modern building located to the south of the campus. Two mono-pitched roofs sit over the main teaching areas, divided by a flat roof wrapping around the front of the building.


The large main study space maximises the use of natural light with a glazed wall opening out onto a small terrace for students to take full advantage of the views beyond. An angled cantilevered canopy extends over the terrace to provide solar shading together with aluminium louvres which repeat around the whole building.

“From the start ECE Architecture were efficient and friendly in their approach. Many architects firms produce impressive tenders and convincing presentations, but ECE actually delivered on what they promised, and more. They used their design expertise to suggest ideas we had not thought of, and the result was an innovative and interesting project which went beyond what we were hoping for at the start of the process.”

Ian Bauckham, Head Teacher,  Bennett Memorial Diocesan School.