Converting a former fire station into a modern school building
Located in a Grade II listed former fire station building in the heart of Norwich city centre, the Sir Isaac Newton Sixth Form school was planned to be the UK’s first mathematics and science sixth form.
The design had to be a modern, efficient school while also remaining sensitive to the history of the former Bethel Street Fire Station, with all main architectural features retained. The project team had to work within the constraints of a listed building and co-ordinate services distribution around unusual spaces. The original steel Crittall windows were to be retained and refurbished (as were the bi-fold timber doors enclosing fire tender bays) which limited space for the implementation of a natural ventilation design strategy.
Appointed to provide M&E design services for the new school, our chief focus was to work around the existing building. Most of the original features have been retained as a reminder of the building’s original use.
We provided a design to upgrade and modify the existing heating, cooling and ventilation system, incorporating all general cabling containment and emergency lighting including power, fire alarms, security and LV supply infrastructure.
As well as a fully functional maths and science sixth form, the building now benefits from a cafe with a multi-purpose hall for assemblies, lectures and performances for students. The facilities are also enjoyed by the local community, continuing the building’s long history of public service.