The Horris Hill School building is a one of a kind with the Viroc cladding providing the main feature of the aesthetics. The 528 square metre building is comprised of 3 main spaces; a 160-seat auditorium and performance space, an outdoor amphitheatre and a portico entrance for congregating. The structure replaced a 1970’s modular cabin used at the boarding school for boys aged 4 to 13 and now boasts an array of natural materials that allow the design to embrace the site’s 85 acre wooded land.
The exterior of the building is clad using a mixture of 12mm and 16mm Red Polished Viroc, a composite material that is made using wood fibres in a mix of vertical panelling and protruding fins to animate the building’s façade. Ashley Reynolds, Quantity Surveyor at Vale Southern (main contractors for this project) said “Horris Hill was a complex project which had limited space for materials storage which meant deliveries needed to be well planned. The pandemic complicated things further but working closely with Vivalda we managed to ensure the materials got to site when we needed and the cladding element of the project could continue.”
The building identified historical motifs from theatre design such as standing stalls of Tudor theatres as well as incorporating black polished Viroc on the floor to echo the ornate stone works found in renaissance churches.
The Horris Hill project has been nominated for many architectural awards. Every element of the project was bespoke and this is the first project of its size using Viroc in the UK.