Four-year, £4m project turns grade II building into day house for pupils

Walters & Cohen has unveiled the results of a four-year project to create new space in which day pupils at Canterbury’s independent King’s School can relax and socialise.

The £4m project has seen the transformation of a “dilapidated but charming” grade II-listed building at the school into a day house for non-boarders.

Mitchinsons Day House at King's School in Canterbury, by Walters & Cohen Architects

Source: Dennis Gilbert/VIEW

Mitchinson’s Day House at King’s School in Canterbury, by Walters & Cohen Architects

It will provide space for 75 pupils and resulted from an audit of how buildings were used at the school, which counts Elizabethan playwright Christopher Marlowe, author Michael Morpurgo, cricketer David Gower and actor Orlando Bloom among its past pupils.

Walters & Cohen said the space audit had identified that the school’s existing Mitchinson’s Day House had outgrown its use and occupied a site that would be better suited to teaching.

Practice director Cindy Walters said the new day house retained the listed frontage of the grade II building and some timber elements, but demolished derelict rear extensions to make way for new accommodation.

“Mitchinson’s Day House has breathed new life into a special but neglected listed building in the heart of Canterbury,” she said.

“Pupils and staff have told us how much they love their new day house: the courtyard and skylights bring natural light to every space, use of colour and materials contribute to the calm atmosphere, and the open-plan social spaces help create a sense of community for pupils of all ages.”

Mitchinsons Day House at King's School in Canterbury, by Walters & Cohen Architects

Source: Dennis Gilbert/VIEW

Outdoor area at Mitchinson’s Day House by Walters & Cohen Architects

The day house was completed in April last year. It provides study rooms, a kitchenette, a common room, lockers, and offices for the houseparent and staff.

Its blue plaque records the building’s connection with racing driver Count Louis Zborowski, who reportedly built the original racing car for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the Bligh Brothers coachworks on the site.

King’s School charges fees of £12,895 a term for boarders and up to £9,165 a term for day pupils.

Mitchinson’s Day House project data:

Client: The King’s School, Canterbury

Total value: £4m

Completion: April 2018

QS: Fanshawe

Structure: Price & Myers

Building services: Skelly & Couch

Planning consultant: Hobbs Parker

Project manager: Fanshawe

Acoustics: Pace Consult

Contractor: R Durtnell & Sons

CDM advisor: RLF

Breeam consultant: Price & Myers Sustainability