Old Freemens Memorial Clubhouse

City of London Freemen’s School, Ashtead, Surrey

We were shortlisted to develop proposals for the new Memorial Clubhouse for the Old Freemen’s Society.

Our proposal brings together the two programmes of play and social space, and two groups; school and community. These are reflected in the building’s composition; robust masonry encloses the facilities while a bronze roof and timber frame provide shelter. These two elements combine to create a new social space.

The primary frontage faces the pitches and a generous hallway frames views which look over them. The building also provides a new landscape to the rear, forming an intimate auditoria with terrace seating and a meadow garden.

The materials echo recent additions to the campus and respond to the mature, natural context. The pale reconstituted stone of the plinth will endure while the bronze roof ages to a mottled patina over time, slowly blending the building with the dappled shade of the surrounding trees.

The chimney and fireplace are the focal points of the convivial space by offering warmth and a place to deliberate over the match. The feature emerges from the ground to incorporate a new memorial. The bar and kitchen which support this space allow the venue to accommodate a variety of activities, including dining functions for large groups.

"The new Memorial Clubhouse provides an opportunity to strengthen the relationship between the school, local community and the historic landscape it lies within. It emerges from the mature woodland to reveal a facility to support the sport programmes and a shelter to a new convivial space."

Relocation & Protecting the View

The clubhouse is relocated to improve adjacencies and its aspect to the playing fields. This move and the reconfigured parking significantly reduce loss of mature trees and ground levelling required. The clubhouse’s new position sits strategically within the landscape and preserves the protected views of the Listed Schoolhouse.

  1. Social & Play – The plan unites socialising and sporting facilities in one building, and brings together school and community uses
  2. Entrance & View – A new visual axis is created through the heart of the plan through to the pitches, clarifying entry and uses
  3. Shift – The two components shift and rotate responding to topography and mature trees.
  4. Terrace – Interstitial space between the two components becomes the threshold and extends to become the terrace.
  5. Rhythm & Growth – The structural rhythm of the building is expressed internally. Bay modules are simple to construct and allow future expansion