King’s Bruton, a 500-year old co-educational independent boarding and day school in Somerset, England chose to mark its quincentenary by opening an innovative new music school, designed by award winning architects Levitt Bernstein.
Situated immediately adjacent to the River Brue, the new building has been designed to be sympathetic to the surrounding 17th Century buildings and stone walls, with its two-storey entrance tower and stone-paved courtyard.
Inside, there are performance, recital, teaching and recording spaces, however the spaces were designed to be multi-functional so the school could derive maximum benefit from their investment. The music school was to feature a multi-purpose state-of-the-art classroom with a removable partition, allowing it to join the adjoining foyer creating a large meeting space, as well as a fully functioning recording studio and an impressive recital hall with multi-purpose seating to be moved and stacked if needed.
Andrew from Morgan Stuart Interiors was delighted to take up the challenge of furnishing this visually stunning space.
Recital Hall and Classroom Design and Planning
The school were familiar with Morgan Stewart Interiors, and had already instructed them to furnish the 6th form common room, an area which drew praise from parents, students and teachers alike.
They therefore tasked Morgan Stewart to provide flexible classroom furniture which would be durable enough for everyday classroom use and chairs for the recital hall which needed to comfortably accommodate musicians but allow for flexible seating, while being stylish enough to complement the modern, prestigious setting.
Our design team were included in early discussions, and on completion of the building, commercial interior designer Andrew, shared the school’s vision of creating a modern space that would be practical, durable and in keeping with the magnificent setting – and immediately suggested furniture from manufacturer KI.
Choosing the recital hall and classroom furniture
Balancing the old with the new, functionality with beauty, the new facilities have been enhanced with the addition of KI’s Intellect Wave music chair. The Intellect Wave music chair was specified with ‘Wet Sand’ polypropylene seat shells and matching powder-coated steel legs which make a striking statement against the warm, wooden interiors. This chair is a unique variant of the elegant and popular Intellect Wave family, featuring a 5° forward tilted seat back and an elevated seat height to promote a more upright posture and enhanced breathing. This can make a notable difference in comfort and performance whilst playing a musical instrument.
Also selected were over 200 of KI’s Maestro high-density stacking chairs, specified with ‘Nordic’ (navy blue) polypropylene seat and backrest and chrome sled bases. Adding a huge amount of flexibility to the versatile spaces, these chairs are stackable to 38 chairs on a transport dolly. Comfortable and robust for student or audience use, they are quick and easy to move around and link together into rows. This allow rooms to be transformed into recital spaces, but neatly stack away when not required.
The small details were not forgotten in the ultra-modern classroom either, with glossy modern desks and innovative cable tidies that complement the modern building and provide aesthetic contrast to the gloss white desks, while keeping trailing cables safely stored out of the way.
Overall, the new music school makes an impressive statement about the school’s commitment to music education and the furniture plays a part in enhancing the impressive space.
A member of the prestigious HMC association of leading independent schools, King’s Bruton sought to build a legacy with this iconic new music facilities to build on the already busy programme of over 40 concerts a year. Providing a vast array of opportunities for students to develop their music skills, the school will now be able to boost its music programme further still.
Ian Wilmshurst, Headmaster, King’s Bruton, said:
“Music at King’s is arguably as strong as it’s ever been, but this was despite our facilities and not because of them. This new music school provides state-of-the-art amenities for both our students and the wider community.”
Andrew Morgan, founder, Morgan Stewart Interiors comments:
“As soon as I saw the plans for the new music school, I knew the impression the school needed the furniture to create, and I am delighted with the results – it looks even better than I expected.
“I have specified KI products for many of our customers over many years. They are a world-leader in creating seating designed specifically for students, and they were an obvious choice for the new music school, because they are designed for purpose, elegant, comfortable and incredibly durable. This is an important factor especially for education environments, where student comfort has a huge impact on learning and performance. Being available in so many seat shell and metal finishes, it gave us even more flexibility to create the right aesthetic for the space.”
Louis Tuson, Kings Bruton School Bursar added:
“When we approached Andrew at Morgan Stewart, we asked for furniture that would look smart, but be flexible enough to allow us to completely rearrange the space very quickly – Andrew did a really good job, providing modern furniture that complements the building while offering that flexibility. The staff responsible for arranging the space have commented on how easy it is to move furniture now, the stacking system is excellent.
“What is even more impressive is that after several terms of daily use, the furniture still looks as good as the day it was delivered.”