St Mary Calne School Library

Published 23rd August 2022

St Mary’s School, Calne, Wiltshire is an outstanding private girl’s school founded in 1873. Their stunning new 660 sqm, two-storey library is a unique facility and has become the school’s centrepiece. The library’s ground floor offers a dynamic space for group projects and gives direct access to the adjacent mature apple orchard, whilst the first storey comprises a range of areas for formal focused, individual studying. The library’s full height glazed façade enhances views of the neighbouring orchard and, together with the first-floor glazing which extends to the eaves of the striking undulating roof, fills the building with natural light. The site sits adjacent to a mature apple orchard and is enclosed by existing school buildings on three sides.

Waterman’s team provided civil and structural designs for the library. Sitting above a series of precast concrete ground beams supported by CFA concrete piles, the ground and first floors are formed using 200mm deep precast concrete hollow core plank units with structural screeds.

The unique undulating roof is created from six 7.5m x 7.5m square bays that represent a ‘tree’ structure, supported by six circular steel columns. An assembly of steelwork trusses within the roof form the expressive geometry and provide supports to the timber soffit of the ‘tree’ structure.

The project was awarded the Building Awards ‘Small Project of the Year’.

Client: ACME Inc
Architect: Bennetts Associates