This deck area allows the children to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air whist creating a vibrant and safe environment from a classroom roof area. The addition of a raised deck has not only created unrivalled views over the grounds, sports facilities and of the Thames, but also makes the building more commercially attractive for corporate events.
St Christopher's School was founded in 1883 and is an independent day school for girls formed from a large Victorian house in a leafy suburb of North London. The building houses 230 girls between the ages of 4 and 11. Since it became a Charitable Trust in 1972 the facility has undergone extensive improvement and modernisation. The deck area has evolved from recent refurbishments which have resulted in 7 additional classrooms fully equipped with 21st century I.T. facilities.
|Architect: NVB Architects||Main Contractor: Sherman Construction Ltd|
|Product Installer: Sherman Construction Ltd||Project Value: £2.4 million|
|Lead Time: 3-4 Weeks||Construction Period: 17 Weeks|
|Procurement Route: Design & build|
The decking area has a range of soft areas including matting and artificial turf. This allows children of all ages to sit or play on the surfaces without fear of injury. The area is both comfortable and safe with its transparent balustrade system and sail shade making sure that the children are safe in all conditions and environments. The decking is made from composite wood so as well as meeting all of the necessary sustainability criteria it does not warp, rot or perhaps more importantly, splinter. Weight, as with any roof terrace, and water ingress are always major considerations. To address these isues the scheme was carefully designed so that the whole surface could be installed on raised pedestals.
The matting and artificial turf are installed within a range of relatively shallow bespoke steel trays. These sit on fully adjustable Kinley Versijack pedestals made from recycled polypropylene which despite their light weight have 15kN compressive strength. This system not only allows precision laying of the components but creates sufficient duct space beneath the materials for drainage and any other building services. The Terrafina Excel Composite Decking has a very simple concealed fixing system so that there are no nails or screws protruding above the completely flat surface. Maintenance and cost is always an issue, but all of the materials used require very little ongoing attention and will last for many years to come.
Whilst it may seem a relatively modest project we took great pride constructing this dedicated area for the school. Some of the landscape products were new to us but we received great support from Kinley both technically and from an operational perspective. The feedback from all parties on the project has been very positive.