WEYDON School’s Medici Theatre has been recognised with a prestigious Architecture & Design Award by planning watchdog The Farnham Society.
The secondary school beat seven other finalists to the award, confirmed at an evening ceremony at the Museum of Farnham on Wednesday, June 20.
John Winter, CEO of the Weydon Multi Academy Trust, received the school’s ‘Highly Commended’ certificate alongside designer Richard Woods of the WSW Consultancy Chartered Building Surveyors & Architecture.
The purpose-built Medici Theatre was opened in September 2015, named after the political dynasty which came to power in the Republic of Florence during the late 14th century, and is credited with creating an environment where art, architecture and humanism could flourish.
The building, which acts a performing arts centre, incorporates a full height proscenium, a minstrel’s gallery, a drama studio and first floor specialist art rooms with generous amounts of natural lighting.
The theatre is extensively used throughout the year by Weydon’s arts faculty, and also lends itself to exhibitions put on by other curriculum areas and parents information evenings.
In the theatre’s award citing, judges highlighted the “harmonious siting of the building”, adding the building’s multiple roof levels, covered entrance area, walkways, varied cladding materials and windows, “all add to the exciting external appearance”.
The judges also praised the building for meeting “the broader educational aspirations of the pupils, providing an invaluable teaching asset as well as providing the local community with an incredibly useful resource”.
Also ‘Commended’ at the ceremony was The Oast House, with the certificate received by Debbie Flowerday on behalf of her husband Farid Divsalar, designer, and by John Kennedy of Hankley Froyle Homes.
The Oast House project started with a desire to replace a small rectangular garage in Green Lane, and judges thought the new building provided an “interesting visual ensemble”, adding “the use of wood in a creative way went a long way to making this scheme a joy to experience”.
There was approximately 55 present at the awards presentation including the award winners, members of The Farnham Society executive committee and judges.