King's School Canterbury – International College

Impressive teaching and residential building with outstanding environmental features.

The International College is the latest member of the historic King’s School family of schools and is a purpose-built teaching and residential building designed for International students to live and learn in Canterbury.

The ground floor of the building is comprised primarily of teaching spaces, music practice rooms, IT and art suites, and common rooms. Constructed in cross- laminated timber, the three-storey building wraps around a private courtyard for socialising and outdoor learning. It offers 34 ensuite bedrooms for 80 students, several flats for staff, classrooms, and specialist teaching facilities.

This building is part of a masterplan for the Malthouse performing arts centre and is modular and square in plan. Skelly & Couch worked with the architects from the beginning to ensure the façade and fenestrations allowed for all internal spaces to be adequately daylit, and naturally ventilated, while preventing overheating. Off-site construction bathroom pods and CLT elements have been integrated, requiring a high level of early co-ordination.

The building is designed on passive environmental principles. Most of the spaces are adequately daylit and this factor, combined with LED lighting and smart lighting controls, significantly reduce the electrical energy consumption. The ground floor classrooms are naturally ventilated, and include a system by Windowmaster, which monitors internal temperature and CO2 levels, adjusting window openings accordingly. The same classrooms rely on architecturally exposed concrete ceilings to provide thermal mass.

The project achieved BREEAM Very Good. It is one of a series of commissions carried out by Skelly & Couch for the King’s School Canterbury. Others included in the school’s £48m plan are the Malthouse performing arts centre; Kingsdown House boarding accommodation; Mitchinson’s day house; and a new £10m science building in the Mint Yard (Precincts).

* Winner of a RIBA National Award 2021 *

'Highly Commended' in the 2022 Civic Trust Awards. Judges’ Comments: “Overall, there is a good sense of proportions, the chosen materials work well and the atmosphere of the place is secure and safe for the student community.”