Back To School

13Aug19

-/ the staircase at the end of the entrance-foyer to the assembly hall

As I increase in age I fear I repeat myself more often than I used to, so apologies if I’m re-treading old ground. That said repetition isn’t always a bad thing.

As I increase in age I fear I repeat myself more often than I used to, so apologies if I’m re-treading old ground. That said repetition isn’t always a bad thing.

So it’s back to school with this post, back to the school I last left sometime in the early summer of 1987, although this time via an article from a 1954 issue of The Architectural Review (the September issue to be specific).

As a pupil of (as is now) Smithdon High School I’ve been after a copy of this article for a while as the piece presents the school looking its very best i.e. empty of what you’d normally find in a school. In fact there’s a small footnote to the article which states that “All the interiors were photographed without furniture, at the architect’s request.” confirming the absence of anything that would possibly detract from the building is no accident.

I remain disappointed that so little was made of the school’s architectural fame when I attended as a pupil, but that’s maybe as much do to with the fact that by the 80s the buildings were growing tired through limited maintenance and the effects of the weather coming directly off the North Sea. Thankfully the school remains alive and seems relatively well, and they do at least now make reference to the buildings origins on their website, albeit as much as to allow them to shoehorn in references to their approach as a school than anything else, “The ground breaking design of our main building personifies the qualities that we still develop in our students today; strength, integrity and excellence.”

I hadn’t realised but on further investigation it appears that the photographs featured in the piece were taken by artist/photographer Nigel Henderson for the Parallel of Life and Art exhibition which I need to investigate this further.

-/ the assembly hall, looking north-east into east green-court with bicycle sheds beyond

-/ general purpose room, west of hall, with way up to projector box.

-/ gymnasium changing-room with galvanised wire racks for towels and clothing

-/ library, showing the skirting coil which prevents down-draughts from glazed areas

(I’ll scan the article in at some point and post if over onto flickr, so if you’re interested in reading further then come back at some point and I’ll link to it from here.)

 



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