Matthew Vowels

Design Engine

Founded in 1611, Charterhouse School is one of the great historic public schools of England. With four centuries of history behind it, the School is committed to being at the forefront of educational progress in the 21st Century. The School’s aim is to revolutionise the way Science and Mathematics subjects are taught at Charterhouse by fostering inter- and intra-departmental collaboration, providing a world-class learning environment for current and future generations of pupils.

The new Science and Mathematics Centre will provide state of the art facilities, promote new teaching methods fostering inter departmental collaborations, 50% more space overall and a modern, flexible environment of the highest quality. A Lecture Theatre with retractable seating and the latest audio-visual aids is capable of hosting lectures, science demonstrations and other School events.

The site lies towards the North Eastern edge of the campus. It is characterised by the existing historic architecture which are predominately Gothic Revival / Neo-Gothic in nature, dating back to the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. The new Centre nods to the context within which it sits, three steeply pitched roofs representing the 6 Chemistry Labs below, functionally the chimneys provide ventilation to the labs below using and provides a focal point to the vista from the primary entrance to the school.

We worked closely with Design Engine and Total Construction through the design detailing, manufacturing and on site stages of the project using Raico timber composite curtain wall screens, entrance doors and bespoke timber louvres.

The project has received recent recognition in Architects’ Journal, BD Online, Archdaily and E-Architect.


“Ridlands were particularly impressive in their liaison with the specialist brise soleil sub-contractor. We pushed them very hard to get the timber louvre connection down to as minimal as possible, their work to develop a bespoke engineered bracket solution reflected the high quality architectural detailing that we were looking to achieve. We are absolutely delighted with the end result building the quality of the detailing and materials which sit so well within the historic context of the existing buildings.”