18 February 2018

West House well received by Stowe School and architecture journals

Words by Dr Anthony Wallersteiner, Headmaster at Stowe School - March 2018

“Stowe School has worked with Rick Mather Architects (now operating as MICA Architects) since 1999, and their team has provided master-planning work as well as full architectural services on a number of building projects with us. At the time Stowe first engaged MICA, every post-1945 building illustrated lamentable planning, poor design, shoddy materials and a failure to integrate new buildings within the curtilage of the Grade One listed Mansion. MICA brought superb master-planning and coherence to the academic area and allowed the School to develop an educational vision which has made Stowe into one of the top independent schools in the UK. Nearly twenty years has elapsed since Rick Mather was first engaged by the governors of Stowe and we are still working to his original master-plan.

MICA Architects have delivered two superbly designed residential boarding houses for girls and a new boys’ boarding house is currently being built in Chapel Court which is entirely congruous with Clough Williams-Ellis’ original design for a quad in Chapel Court. Last summer we opened West Five Boarding House for Sixth Form girls and I have described it as a modernist riff on a neo-Georgian theme. West has quickly established itself as a popular destination for Sixth Form pupils coming to Stowe: it is highly acclaimed for its daring geometry, superb facilities, beautifully proportioned rooms and carefully thought out assonance with the surrounding Western Gardens.

We have also employed MICA to transform existing facilities such as the Art School which was completely transformed by restoring many of the original design features of the 1930s while adding 4 new classrooms, two top-lit studio spaces and a wonderful art gallery to show student and touring exhibitions.”

West House has also been featured in two prominent industry publications linked below:

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