Top marks for Encasement at Manor Lodge School

The construction of a new sports hall and theatre at Manor Lodge School in Shenley, Hertfordshire is using 70 semi-circular ‘Circa’ column casings from Encasement to conceal structural steel work around the perimeter of the building’s interior to provide a durable, attractive and safe environment.

Manor Lodge is an independent coeducational school for early years to year six students and occupies a 10 acre site near the M25, which the new sports hall and theatre complex shares with the school’s original grade II listed building and modern teaching blocks.

The £2 million projects was constructed by T&B Contractors and designed by Aedifice Architects, which features a steel frame construction to provide the large, open interior space, while the exterior uses brick and wood cladding together with a planted ‘green eco-roof’ to eventually blend with its rural surroundings.

Inside the sports hall, Encasement’s column casings, which range in height from 5.0 metres up to 7.7 metres are used to conceal vertical steel supports around the building’s perimeter to create aesthetic finish to the interior that integrates with the colour scheme while reflecting the school’s own colours.

Manufactured from pre-formed plywood and finished with a highly durable Formica laminate in a Beaujolais K2046 colour, both 300mm and 500mm diameter casings were used to meet the needs of the installation and ensure the steelwork was concealed effectively.

As ‘Circa’ casings are normally supplied in 3.0 metre lengths, the column casings were stacked to achieve the necessary heights and also incorporated an aluminium feature joint as an additional design feature.

Encasement’s Managing Director, Martin Taylor, commented:

“The new facilities at Manor Lodge are very impressive and it’s one of a number of major educational projects we have been involved with recently where our column casings have been used not only for the practical purpose of concealing structural elements, but also to enhance and support the design of the building. We’re delighted to have been involved in this project and the final results are excellent.”