OMA at Brighton College

Against the Commonplace


Prejudice associates private schools in the English-speaking countryside with antiquated but decorous Gothic or neo-Gothic architectures featuring ivy-covered walls, colorful stained glass windows, and boiseries worthy of Harry Potter’s Hogwarts. So it’s good to draw attention to projects of iconic resignification like the one executed at Brighton College thanks to the push of its head master, Richard Cairns. The result is a series of buildings that are in effect updating the grounds originally planned by the Victorian architect George Gilbert Scott, and one such renovation is that of the Sports and Science Centre, designed by OMA/ Ellen van Loon. Executed at a cost of 55 million pounds, the horizontal facility is modest in tone but its radical transparency brings a whiff a fresh air into the educational institution while opening up the interior spaces to wonderful views of the entire school grounds.

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