Tring Park School -Brief
It would be an understatement to say that Tring Park School, established in 1939, has had an interesting history. The independent school occupies a stunning mansion, originally designed by the world-famous architect Sir Christopher Wren in 1685, and focuses on providing its students with exceptional performing arts education.
A few centuries after its construction, the Rothschild family bought the premises and a museum was built to house exotic specimens from Walter Rothschild’s overseas adventures. Zebras, kangaroos and rheas often patrolled the grounds of Tring Park – a documented nightmare for the gardeners. Famous alumni include Lily James, Ella Henderson and Daisy Ridley, as well as Dame Julie Andrews. With a history like that, a distinct character is built into the walls of Tring Park.
After internal discussions with staff and pupils, Tring Park decided it was time to enhance their living spaces for boarders. So – the school got in touch with us to help them with the upgrading of boarding areas, in order to provide modern accommodation for their pupils. Envoplan were commissioned to design and furnish the Mansion House and Clock House boarding over a 2-year period.
Bringing the spaces into the present day while staying true to the school’s fascinating roots was at the heart of the challenge we faced. The school was deeply proud of its heritage, informing its traditions and values to this day. Bringing this contemporary design to an old building without corrupting its essence and character was vital and a challenge many designers fail to live up to.
The school also wanted their boarding spaces to become a home away from home for their students, with comfort, calm and areas to relax and study at the top of the priority list. This meant picking top-quality furniture and designing the spaces to facilitate both interaction and alone time – all done while staying in keeping with the heritage of the buildings.
There’s no doubt that it was a challenge, but we couldn’t wait to get started.
To ensure a warm and welcoming atmosphere was generated for those using the accommodation, the team designed both the bedrooms and common spaces using a clever mix of finishes. These tones and textures, as you can see in the gallery pictures below, introduced a contemporary feel to the boarding rooms, while maintaining a link to the heritage of the school and building that Tring Park continues to cherish.
As mentioned above, fusing contemporary and traditional design is always a challenge. The minimalist furniture we chose to occupy the space lived up to the brief, providing pupils with comfortable sofas that added a much-needed modern touch. The sofas featured a light and bright blue that added a splash of colour to the rooms and contrasted elegantly with the old heritage designs of many of the spaces.
While aesthetics matter, it means little if the space itself fails to function effectively. Our storage spaces and furniture made sure that Tring’s students had the opportunity to study efficiently, with sturdy desks and comfy chairs in their rooms, as well as in the common areas. Storage spaces are also essential for young boarders, with pupils needing easy access to books and other belongings. With this in mind, we added under-bed cupboards to provide extra storage that blended in seamlessly with the rest of the space.
Furniture installations were also carefully planned out to fit around the building refurbishment that was being carried out simultaneously. That, combined with the short deadline, meant that speed and efficiency were both very important, all without compromising on the quality of the work.
It’s safe to say that both the school, boarders and our team were delighted with the outcome. Interested in learning more about this unique project? Please take a look through the gallery below to see the results for yourself.