Dancy House: New boarding house for Marlborough College

The design for a new boarding house at Marlborough College, Wiltshire, has secured planning permission. Called Dancy House and designed by Allies and Morrison, the new building will primarily accommodate female students as the school looks to increase the proportion of girls in education. The new building takes its name from a former headmaster of the College, John Christopher Dancy, who led Marlborough at the time co-education was introduced in 1968.

Located at the edge of the historic town of Marlborough, the College is a co-educational school with a number of historically significant buildings including a Queen Anne country house that predates the school’s 1843 founding, as well as several arts and crafts boarding houses, Georgian and Gothic Revival buildings. The town itself was an important medieval administrative centre, once home to a Saxon castle and King John’s Treasury and Mint at the turn of the 13th century.

The new boarding house has been designed to build on this rich architectural context while being a ‘large home’ for the 70 girls, master, deputy master and staff that will live there. Its form evokes the rural courtyard buildings in close context and will continue the pattern of pitched roof buildings at the school and within the town. The architecture further takes note of the high quality of buildings of the Marlborough Conservation Area through the use of materials such as red brick and the rhythm of openings and fenestrations of its elevations, yet will be a high performance, energy efficient 21st century building.