The King John School – New Hall / Theatre

Key Facts:

Client Name: The King John School
Location: Thundersley, Essex
Type of client: Education, Secondary Academy
Discipline provided by M+C: Architectural Design | Planning & Building Regulations | Procurement | Project Management
Contractors: TJ Evers
M+C Lead: Philip Ruffle

As part of The King John School’s growth plans, and a planned increase in Pupil Admission Numbers (PAN) to move to a 12-form entry, the existing hall facilities within the school were not adequate. Forming part of the School Development Plan, this scheme was identified a number of years ago, to resolved increasing issues in maintaining the school’s ability to deliver whole year group assemblies, as well as the impact on increased curriculum requirements for performance areas to support music and drama teaching.

The scheme was fully supported by Essex County Council, enhancing the credibility of the project in both planning and funding terms.

The building’s design is a pentagon shape, to reflect the geometry of the existing buildings and make the best use of space on a limited site. It’s unique shape also allows the new hall to sit better within the existing building layout, whilst also enhancing the acoustic properties of the building. The central location is chosen to best suit the linear school layout and to be away from surrounding residential properties.

To meet the needs of performances, the theatre features an extensive sound and lighting system, controlled from a dedicated gallery overlooking the whole hall. To maintain the flexibility of the facility, a fully automated, retractable seating system for 350 was installed. This system can be deployed or stowed within around ten minutes, enabling the hall to suit a variety of uses at short notice.

The scheme was fully designed and developed by M+C, and delivered on site by contractor TJ Evers both on time and within budget.