Tonbridge School has received an architecture award for its Barton Science Centre, and recently hosted an exhibition of art by a distinguished alumnus

Tonbridge School in Kent has received a RIBA Award recently, with judges commending its “brilliant” Barton Science Centre. The state-of-the-art building was among the winners in the RIBA South East Awards, which celebrated UK architecture.

The winning regional projects go on to compete for national awards. RIBA judges found that the purpose of the centre, “To inspire a new generation of young scientists,” had been achieved, and added that it “delivered the very best teaching spaces on every level”. Features of the Barton Science Centre include an interactive periodic table, a roof garden, a giant TV wall, three libraries – also an observation hive for studying bees.

Tonbridge Exhibition Copy
Sir David Hare and Nicole Farhi were among distinguished visitors to the Tonbridge School exhibition of art by alumnus Anthony Whishaw

While the new Barton Science Centre has been attracting plaudits, so too the School’s Old Big Gallery, which recently hosted an exhibition by a distinguished former pupil. ‘From Tonbridge to Tate’ focused on the work of Royal Academician Anthony Whishaw. He made his name in the vibrant 1950s and ’60s Chelsea art scene, having attended Tonbridge as a boarder. Now 91, he still paints daily. The exhibition attracted art fans, notably designer and sculptor Nicole Farhi and playwright Sir David Hare.

Tonbridge School

Further reading: Celebrating new openings at St Dunstan’s College