Tonbridge School library wins prestigious architecture award

Lee Colyer

TONBRIDGE SCHOOL’S Smythe Library was named Education Building of the Year at a prestigious architects’ ceremony.

The nominations for the Retrofit Awards recognised ‘design, engineering and -construction excellence which prolongs and improves the life of the built environment’.

Architects BDP wanted to create an experience similar to a gothic cathedral cloister, while the addition of a glazed stair tower allowed for natural ventilation.

The project cost approximately £6million, and the extended library reflects changes to the curriculum, use of modern technology and the need for flexible teaching spaces.

A new mezzanine level and café have been installed in the building originally designed by Sir William Holford. The renovated library was officially opened by HRH Princess Alexandra last year.

The Headmaster at Tonbridge School, Tim Haynes, has been named as Best Head of a Public School in this year’s Tatler magazine School Awards.

Mr Haynes, who has been in charge of the public school since 2005, is stepping down at the end of the academic year, to be replaced by James Priory.

Saint Ronan’s in Hawkhurst was named as Best Prep School by the magazine.

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