Gads Hill

New buildings in the grounds of Grade II* listed building to form a new junior and senior school.

Photos courtesy of Clague LLP

Gads Hill occupies the former house of Sir CharlesDickens. The great writer’s house is a Grade II* listed building which was constructed with an underpass of the adjacent highway which gave access to a quiet private garden in which he wrote.

The brief was to design a new junior and senior school.The success of the school was particularly in the junior years and the idea was to improve facilities at the senior level whilst freeing up the historic house to become a visitor centre.

The challenges of this project were considerable.Underlying the whole budget was to produce a characterful school which also would obtain planning and listed building consent.

Several concepts drove the design. Maintaining a view from the setting of the listed building to the countryside and setting the new buildings against the backdrop of the trees along Crotches Lane whilst also respecting the privacy and amenity of other residents of the road which were two of the most important.

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