St Benedict’s Catholic College in Essex Add Large Dining Canopy

St Benedict’s Catholic College wanted a permanent answer to their problem that looked good, had a solid build quality and was low maintenance.

Project Specification

  • Product: Motiva Duo™
  • Size: 12000mm x 12000mm
  • Steelwork:
    • Signal Yellow - RAL NO. 1003

  • Roof:
    • Opal

What was the project brief?

St Benedict’s Catholic College can be found in the Essex town of Colchester. It’s a school that delivers education to its students from specialist teaching rooms. The school has wonderful facilities including access to the latest technology, sporting and fitness facilities, and a peaceful chapel for self-reflection and worship.

As well as embracing cutting edge technology in the classrooms, St Benedict’s Catholic College also have a modern approach to breaktimes. Operating a ‘grab and go’ menu as part of their catering service to pupils, they wanted to make the most of the school environment for the children to enjoy. With options like waffles and pastries on offer at break times, and everything from chicken fajitas to loaded vegetarian ‘dogs’ for main meals, finding space for pupils to sit, relax and enjoy their food was a priority. Unfortunately, with increasing demand, their main dining hall just didn’t cut the mustard in providing space for everyone.

But rather than make a snap decision and try to find a temporary solution, St Benedict’s Catholic College wanted a more permanent answer to the problem that looked good, had a solid build quality and was low maintenance. This was when they contacted A&S Landscape.

What was our dining area canopy solution?

Dining canopy we fitted at St Benedict's Catholic CollegeThere is a lot of choice when it comes to high school shelter solutions. Our extensive brochure of options is a great place to start when it comes to helping you to visualise what’s on offer. For our team, the key to unlocking the perfect canopy installation is first to understand the problem that needs to be solved, and then to explore the client’s ideas and vision for the final solution.

St Benedict’s Catholic College was clear on what they wanted: an outdoor dining canopy shelter big enough to provide comfortable shelter to pupils at breaktimes. But they were also clear that they wanted something that looked good. Taking all of this into account, our proposed solution was for a Motiva Duo™ steel shelter frame with symmetrically curved roof line.

Careful thought had been put in to preparing the perfect site for the new dining area canopy, which was to be located next to an existing building with a door directly into the school. This created a great design opportunity for the canopy architecture. With the addition of full height panels to the open three elevations, additional shelter was created with easy access from the outside playground area into the canopy and on into the school.

The Motiva Duo™ product range has a choice of design options which makes it really popular for use as a dining area canopy. The finished canopy structure at St Benedict’s Catholic College was a generous 12000 mm x 12000 mm. This neat square shape fitted perfectly with the adjacent building and delivered a great looking addition to the school’s existing dining facilities. Finished off in steelwork that was Signal Yellow (RAL 1003), and with an Opal polycarbonate roof, the matching guttering and down pipes was a cohesive design branded in St Benedict’s Catholic College accent colours.

Should we treat eating outdoors as a necessity or privilege?

There are a huge amount of verified benefits to alfresco dining as a part of the school day. As young people spend a large amount of the day in a classroom environment, it is imperative that they are given time to breathe at lunchtime. In spending this break outside, it not only provides a restful environment but can also lower levels of hyperactivity in a pupil. If a student is to occupy their break inside, it can emulate the classroom setting and stop them from taking enough amount of time to relax. Eating outside is also a very sociable activity, unhampered by the dining hall setting children can connect with other year groups freely.

Over on our blog you can read how schools can allow their pupils to eat outside regularly – click here.

What was the result of the new dining area canopy?

Looking back at the original project brief of delivering a sizeable dining area shelter that also looked great too, the brightly coloured, practical space definitely does what the design plans promised! St Benedict’s Catholic College have put customised benches and seating inside the canopy. In doing this, they’ve enhanced the canopy cover and created a sociable, accessible and bright area for pupils to enjoy.

The end result fits perfectly with the rest of the school’s great facilities and is sure to be a place where many a chicken fajita and a veggie loaded ‘dog’ will be enjoyed!

About the client

A quick flick through the St Benedict’s Catholic College brochure shows a school with lots of fantastic things going on. It’s a business, enterprise and language college, and there is a diverse range of learning options available for the lucky students that attend. Life skills and vocational education are also important, and the extra-curricular activities offered include sport, fitness, and performing arts. When it comes to adventure, the pupils in Year 7 all get the opportunity to attend a residential activities camp on Mersea Island.

And if anyone interested in sending their child to St Benedict’s Catholic College needed any more reason to affirm the school as a great place to achieve their full potential, then how about the fact that Dermot O’Leary is a former pupil? This regular on UK television has certainly capitalised on his foundation years at the school!

Why invest in a steel shelter frame canopy?

Bike store we installed at Myton SchoolSteel shelter frame canopies can provide a perfect, custom design shelter for a range of different uses. This is especially true for expanding schools where space is squeezed by additional pupil demand. So what can a steel shelter frame canopy be used for? Among other things, they are definitely worth consideration for:

  1. Bike Shelter

As more and more pupils take to two wheels, your existing bike storage can come under pressure. Our range of cycle store products offers a great choice for expanding bike shelters.

  1. Entrance Canopy

These are a great way to enhance reception areas and provide additional shelter for those entering the school building. With a choice of designs, there’s plenty of options to consider.

  1. Food Kiosks

If your school is looking to increase food delivery services as well as shelter at break times, this is an option well worth considering. Our range offers the opportunity to deliver both food provision and seating in one solution.

How A&S Landscape can help you

If you need help with navigating the wide range of shelter options, then our team are on hand to help you consider the best way forward. There are a range of custom canopy resources on our website, but we’re always happy to chat to you and answer any questions. Simply call us on 01743 444100 or fill in our web enquiry form.

Read through some of our other projects based in Essex

Shelter we installed at West Hatch High SchoolOutdoor Dining Shelter Made for West Hatch High School

A&S created a curved roof canopy for West Hatch High School Chigwell, Essex. The full contract involved one Motiva Duo™ duopitch curved roof canopy measuring 11000mm X 6000mm and included for our Alu-Tuff™ aluminium box profile guttering and downpipes in matching Dura-coat™ colour finish.

Montgomery Infant School Add Straight Roof Canopy

A&S created a straight polycarbonate roof canopy in Montgomery Infant School. Colchester, Essex. The contract included the supply and installation of one Motiva™ monopitch straight roof canopy and included for our Alu-Tuff™ aluminium box profile guttering and downpipes in matching Dura-coat™ colour finish.

Dining area shelter we installed at R A Butler AcademyR A Butler Academy Install Outdoor Dining Shelter

We designed a straight polycarbonate roof canopy for R A Butler Academy South Road, Saffron Walden, Essex. The contract included the supply and installation of one Motiva™ monopitch straight roof canopy measuring 10200mm X 5000mm and included for our Alu-Tuff™ aluminium box profile guttering and downpipes which were coated in a matching Dura-coat™ colour finish.

Fabric Sail Shade Designed for Thomas Willingale School

Our engineers made a shade sail structure in Thomas Willingale School The Broadway, Loughton, Essex. The contract included one 5500mm X 3500mm Maxima™ tensile shadecloth fabric sail structure comprising of one square sail on four uprights including for all stainless steel fixtures and fittings and four post protector pads.

Saint Nicholas School Add Shade Sail Structure to Playground

We created three sails at Saint Nicholas School Hobbs Cross Rd, Old Harlow, Essex. The contract included manufacture, supply and installation of three sails using monotec 370 fabric (strongest in industry – 15 year guarantee) including for new tensioning mechanisms.