Herne Bay High School

Taking a ‘whole school approach’, Clague’s designs for Herne Bay High School in Kent successfully unified a series of existing school buildings to improve facilities and create more recreational space. The £35m project for Landsec, on behalf of the Kent Building Schools for the Future Programme, provided architectural interventions to link a number of school buildings together and develop an enclosed central space to improve the teaching environment. The scope of the project evolved, and the site now includes a large sports centre.

Most of the existing buildings were relatively new or in a decent state of repair, so our approach was to be creative in terms of linking the spaces together, to both create more spaces and engineer new ones. Appointed through the Kent Building Schools for the Future Programme, we were tasked with unifying and evolving the existing teaching space at Herne Bay High School, Kent, to create a new, communal heart of the school.

Under a Design and Build contract, our team redesigned the external space at the top of a two-storey school block, replacing an existing single storey, and roofing it over to create a covered social area.

The scope of the project evolved during the process and resulted in the inclusion of a large sports centre facility. The space is also used by the community, including among other things, a dance studio and performing arts space.

We wanted our design to support cross-curricular learning and enclose the existing external courtyard space so it could become a vibrant social hub for staff and students. We’ve further increased interaction on the site by including sports facilities for the use of students, staff and the community.