A £4 million project to refurbish and extend Winchester College’s New Hall building is using bespoke aluminium ‘Forma’ column casings, which were supplied and installed by Encasement to conceal structural columns while helping create a dramatic new entrance and foyer.
New Hall was originally constructed in 1961 as a venue for concerts, lectures and examinations for the school, which was founded in 1382 by the Bishop of Winchester, William of Wykeham, who was also the founder of New College Oxford.
The latest modifications to New Hall, which were designed by architects Barnsley, Hewitt & Mallinson (BH&M), not only incorporate a new feature entrance and foyer, but also substantial improvements to the main performance space with the inclusion of operable bleacher seats, new mechanical ventilation and changes in room geometry to enhance the buildings’ acoustics.
Four of Encasement’s 450mm diameter column casings are used as a main feature within the new entrance design and stand up to 5800mm high to conceal the structural steelwork that supports the front edge of the pitched canopy.
A further 16 casings were also supplied and installed by Encasement within other parts of the project, including the new glazed foyer area, with all 20 casings coated in a RAL 7015 grey PPC finish to integrate with New Hall’s interior design scheme.
Every Forma aluminium column casing was manufactured to the architect’s precise specifications by Encasement, which included header and skirting collars on all columns as well as special asymmetric header collars on the external casings, which were cut on site by Encasement to ensure they fitted perfectly with the sloping canopy.
Encasement’s Managing Director, Martin Taylor, commented:
“Winchester College has an immense educational heritage, but is clearly looking to its future with this striking and extremely well executed entrance design as well as the other improvements carried out as part of this project. We have considerable experience of providing a diverse range of casing solutions for both the private and state education sectors and we’re delighted to have played a part in this project, especially as our products are integral to the visual appeal of the structure.”