Top private school boarding house contract boosts Temple Bright’s construction practice

Bristol and London law firm Temple Bright has continued to expand its construction practice in the education sector by advising on a prestigious £5.5m project at a leading independent school.

The firm is working with Stowe School in Buckinghamshire on the construction of its new boys’ boarding house. Due to complete later this year, it is the latest stage in a major redevelopment plan at the school.

It is Temple Bright’s first instruction by Stowe School and the firm’s team will be led by construction partner Julia Davenport-Cooper. The firm is awaiting confirmation of a further appointment to advise on the next scheme, a new design and technology block.

The new boarding house will be a three to four storey building designed by MICA architects and built by main contractor Stepnell, providing modern study bedrooms for 60 pupils.

It will create living facilities, common rooms and a terrace and garden as well as apartments for the housemaster and two under housemasters. The development will enable one of the school’s existing boarding houses to relocate from the main Mansion House into the spacious, purpose-built facility.

Situated on the southern edge of Chapel Court in the school’s historic grounds, the planned building has been developed with the help of an extensive consultation process involving Stowe School, Aylesbury Vale District Council, Buckinghamshire County Council, Historic England, Stowe Advisory Panel and the National Trust.

Finished in Bath stone, the new boarding house will be positioned in the wooded area between the South Lawn and Western Gardens with careful landscaping ensuring that the development is concealed from the historic gardens.

Project manager Mark Saint of Michael Edwards Consultants said: “We are delighted to be working with Julia and Temple Bright on this significant project in a beautiful historic location. Julia brings a wealth of experience of construction projects in the education sector and is the ideal choice of adviser to steer us through the process.

“This development forms a vital part of Stowe’s inspiring vision and will hopefully provide a blueprint for the further ambitious plans which are to follow.”

Stowe director of operations and estates Mark Kerrigan added: “We are excited at the plans for the new house, which will maintain our approach of developing buildings of contemporary design within a nationally important historic landscape. The school offers pupils a first-class education within a truly magnificent setting. It is key that any new builds maintain and enhance our proposition. The new boarding house will be another fine example of how we have managed to achieve this.”

Julia Davenport-Cooper said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for Stowe School to build on its existing portfolio with the creation of a truly outstanding new property that will fulfil a variety of functions and form an organic part of the beautiful setting. I am really looking forward to working with the school on this and future schemes.”

Temple Bright was launched in Bristol early in 2010 before opening an office in London’s Tech City in 2013. The firm now has 60 partners, spread evenly across the two offices, covering 13 commercial practice areas and serving clients across a variety of sectors, ranging from start-ups to PLCs and public sector bodies.

This article appeared in the Bristol Business Newsletter on 24 August 2018.