28th November 2018 — A striking new dining hall designed to fit perfectly into both the historic built environment and natural rural setting is now in use at Foremarke Hall, Repton’s preparatory school.
The first users were the boarders, who enjoyed breakfast in the new facility on the first day back after October half term; following that it has been in daily use by all pupils and staff.
In November the boarders enjoyed a three-course Sunday dinner with special guests including the Governors and the Chairman. Ahead of the meal the dining room was blessed by Father Neil Roberts.
November also saw parents invited in for soup and cheese scones following the annual bonfire and fireworks event, and the Friends of Foremarke plan to use it for their Christmas Fair.
Robert Relton, Headmaster of Foremarke Hall, says: “Everyone who has seen the new dining room has been astounded at how such a modern building fits so well. It is at the heart of the school’s campus and is a welcome enhancement of our dining facilities. With its stunning views of the Foremarke estate, it offers an amazing venue for our events.”
The brief for the building outlined a desire for an inside, outside connectivity with large opening doors and a relationship with the natural environment, while at the same time improving the dining experience for the pupils and the efficiency of the lunch time routine for the school. The building needed to be able to serve breakfast, lunch and dinner for over 500 pupils and staff whilst having the capability to host functions and events, day or night.
These needs have been met by an innovative glass pavilion style dining hall accessed off a large central corridor where dual queuing halves serving time. The whole building has been positioned so that the main approach views to the historic Foremarke Hall building remain uninterrupted, and at the same time the 4.5m high glazing allows panoramic views of the grounds and woods for the 180 diners looking out.
The building is topped by a floating extended roof canopy supported by tree-like steels, used to reflect the trees immediately outside the windows and further connecting the building to the landscape. As well as creating a relationship between the building and its natural environment, Foremarke was keen to make sure the new hall had its own identity but would also integrate with existing adjacent buildings, some of which date back to the 18th century.
The new dining hall is a complete replacement of previous dining and kitchen facilities which have been demolished. The new building has more dining space and it opens the kitchen to the main dining hall, so pupils can see how their food is being prepared and kitchen staff are aware of how meal times are progressing. Previously the kitchen and servery were in different buildings from the dining area.
Describing the building he has created, Architect Daniel Evans, of Matthew Montague Architects said: “The brief was complex, but I think we have designed a contemporary building that achieves the same quality and richness that we see in the adjacent hall and stunning surroundings. It continues the quality architecture at Foremarke.”
Mr Relton concluded: “We thank and congratulate everyone involved in the project and know everyone at Foremarke will enjoy using it.”