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The Murdin Link

Murdin Link , Exeter

Client: The Maynard School
Area: 425 m²
Stage: Completed in May 2009
Building costs: £600k
Description: New Classroom Block


The Maynard School is situated on an “island” site in a Conservation Area close to the centre of Exeter. The campus is restricted in size and there are very few undeveloped areas where new buildings can be located. As a result the School’s building programme relies either upon small infill sites or the replacement of existing buildings that underutilise the potential of their site.

The Murdin Link replaces a single storey “Horsa” building located at the epicentre of the campus. It is a new 2 storey block containing 5 classrooms and a Head of Departments office. The scheme also includes a new stairway and passenger lift which “links” the new block with the adjacent Junior Dept. and accommodates the different floor levels of the 2 buildings. There are generous covered areas for the gathering of pupils and casual recreation.

The site is located at a point where all of the main pedestrian routes through the campus converge. As a result a substantial amount of temporary re- routing and pedestrian protection measures were put into place including the provision of interim escape routes for adjacent buildings. The use of crisp white-rendered walls accentuates the texture and solidity of the adjacent brick buildings, but also has a practical role in reflecting natural light in a rather gloomy part of the campus. The roof finish is natural slate, but the generous panels of metal framed glazing and in particular the full-height curtain walling of the stair link gives the overall composition a quite contemporary character. As much natural light as possible has been brought into the building. The fully glazed stairwell also has the practical purpose of providing natural stack effect ventilation to the building.

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