Diocese of Westminster

Bespoke lecture rooms - an education in timber.

Ref: ED30

Each timber build is different, but every now and again we‘re asked to complete something extra special. When the Diocese of Westminster sought to rebuild some lecture rooms for Allen Hall Seminary, they wanted to do so in a cost effective and importantly, aesthetically sympathetic way.

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Client Brief

Allen Hall – currently situated on the grounds of Saint Thomas More’s former home in Chelsea – oversees 43 men as they prepare for life as priests of the Roman Catholic Church. The much needed lecture rooms for the seminary have, for the last 35 years, been situated on the grounds in prefabricated buildings that had long outlived their intended lifespan.  

Our Solution

We removed the old buildings, utilised some of the existing foundations and complemented this with new similar ones to minimise the disruption to the ground around the building and that close to the wall. The building itself was installed in six weeks utilising modern modular construction methods and fully co-ordinated management from our team of experts.

The building was required to deliver flexible teaching space that could meet the needs of varied group sizes. A single storey design was created to ensure no change of outlook for the other nearby buildings and the exterior was clad in vertical and horizontal cedar weather boards, which provided a stunning, natural appearance for the garden setting.

We were conscious of the listed wall and so the design incorporated small vistas from within the building such that guests and users of the room could see and appreciate the wall and it not be forgotten at the back of the building.  To enable flexibility, we also provided a sliding, folding sound-proofed partition, so that the whole building could be opened up into one large usable space, or be kept as separate lecture rooms.

Finally, we landscaped around the building with sympathetic materials to make sure it blended in, creating an illusion of the building always being there from day one.  This was helped by minimal disruption to surrounding plants and fauna.

Total build time 6 weeks

The Result

Bespoke lecture rooms that blend seamlessly with the natural surroundings. 

We were looking for a solution that could sit well within the existing setting and The Stable Company has done a really lovely job. Considering the build happened during term time, there was absolutely minimum disruption and the team were all very respectful of the surroundings.

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