‘One cannot think well, love well, sleep well if one has not dined well’ – Virginia Woolf
Taunton School is to build a state-of-the-art dining hall with a large modern kitchen to accommodate their whole school community. The light and spacious facility will provide a welcoming environment for pupils to enjoy their meals and will act as a central hub for dining in the heart of the historic school.
The current kitchens and dining halls within the listed main building were designed for fewer students than the number now on campus. The existing dining hall and kitchen areas will be reconfigured to provide a new Sixth Form Centre and teaching facilities.
Building work will begin in July of this year with completion expected by spring 2020. The new dining hall will cater for 1600 covers and seat up to 400 people at any one time. Sustainable materials will be used together with the latest technology in lighting, acoustic materials and audio visual equipment. The building will enjoy a view over a green central space, bringing all aspects of the school together, while maintaining and improving the integrity of the Grade II listed main school and incorporating the architecture into the design and build.
Headmaster, Lee Glaser, said of the project, “We believe that what happens at mealtimes impacts powerfully on the rest of the day. We are creating a facility that will welcome our students and staff in one beautifully designed space.
“This project has taken several years of planning and consultation and we are delighted that is now coming to fruition. We are aiming for minimal disruption by completing the majority of the work during the summer holidays and we are looking to deliver an outstanding facility on budget and on time.”
Award winning architects Wotton and Donoghue have been commissioned to design the build and following a robust tender process, the South West firm C G Fry & Son Builders were appointed, to carry out the work.