The Crypt School, Gloucester


The Crypt School, Gloucester


ORION Barrelvault Canopy,
12000mm (W) x 6000mm (D)

“We had a lack of covered areas for pupils to sit, and with the school going Co-ed and Yr7 girls joining us, we needed to reduce overcrowding in the dining room. Our funds were tight, but Streetspace delivered a superb, high quality fabric canopy for our school”

THE CHALLENGE – Create a year-round usable space outdoors to reduce overcrowding

With the student population expanding, overcrowding in the dining room during breaks and lunchtime, and health & safety issues to address, The Crypt School needed a way to create an outdoor space where students could sit – protected from the weather all year round. They needed a canopy that wasn’t constrained by traditional posts and columns, and one that wouldn’t break their budget. As Hazel Baldwin, Estate and Payroll Manager at The Crypt School pointed out: “Funds are always very tight, and expenditure on such projects – whilst essential – are lower than first line education needs.”

THE SOLUTION – A column-free, open outdoor dining area covered by an elegant fabric canopy

With space requirement and budget both playing a big priority, The Crypt School turned to Streetspace for a unique solution. There was a perfect outdoor area, right next to the school’s dining room, but the chosen design needed to fit in the with school building. More importantly, as the area was against two walls, it needed to be open and light.

Tensile fabric structures are the perfect option for these kind of areas, which is why we suggested the ORION™ Barrelvault Tensile Membrane Canopy. The classic styling of the fabric canopy was in perfect keeping with the design of the building and will certainly stand the test of time. Better still are the benefits of the tensile fabric. Whilst providing great weather protection and shading all year round, it also allows light to naturally diffuse through the material. The effect underneath is a light and open space, and the fabric naturally absorbs sound too – perfect for those rowdy school lunchtimes! The smart engineering of these school canopies also maximises the space underneath, offering plenty of room for pupils to sit. Using a clear-span set-up with integrated connections, this fabric canopy covers a large area with minimal columns, providing a sleek and stylish tensile structure – with more usable space than conventional canopies. Installation was quick and simple too: “The whole process was very smooth, even with a tight turnaround. The project was installed on time, during the school holidays, and the workmanship of all those involved was an extremely high standard.”

THE RESULTS – A highly practical space, and the desire for additional school canopies

This light grey fabric canopy looks like a perfect outdoor addition to the current school buildings. It’s highly durable, extremely long-lasting and has a PVDF self-cleaning top lacquering layer, which means minimal maintenance for the school. The lightweight nature of the fabric canopy meant less structural steel was required and less artificial lighting, which helped keep costs down too. The super practical space underneath means the school can easily fit multiple large dining tables underneath for their pupils. This tensile fabric structure is getting used so much, the school is already looking to install a second canopy: “We are so pleased with the project that we’re continuing to work with Streetspace to install a second canopy to expand our practical outdoor spaces even further.”