As the world continues to evolve, we must adapt. Aiglon as a school has the responsibility not only to envisage but also to realise an educational vision that ensures it stays ahead of the curve. Living and accommodation facilities are a critical component of this vision as we support a community of boarding students ages 9-18.
Aiglon developed a permanent master campus planning process in 2007 to meet the ever-evolving needs of a top-level school. A vital piece of this plan was completed in 2017 when the senior girls of Exeter house moved to their new site and began life in a contemporary, chalet-style home. This construction and subsequent relocation of students unlocked the plan's next stage. The school then recommissioned 'old' Exeter as the Parsons Building, a new hub for inquiry-based learning.
Learn more about the Aiglon's Campus Master Plan.
Richard McDonald, Aiglon's Executive Director, explains the development of how 'new' Exeter focused on functionality, energy efficiency and a warm sense of welcome and cosiness. "We wanted to achieve a distinctive, contemporary chalet-style that used traditional materials to allow the new house to fit seamlessly into the architectural vernacular of the village."
In the most recent review of the Campus Masterplan, improving the senior boy boarding experience was identified as a priority. Developing the campus' northeast corner would allow the school to realise this objective by improving access and creating space for a 'new' Belvedere boarding facility. La Dacha, a no-longer-used junior house, was demolished in early 2021, and construction is well underway. The plan is to welcome the 48 boys to their new home in early 2023.
Its design? The layout and provisions of the new Exeter proved so successful that, Mr McDonald adds, "it is a natural template for a new boarding house." By relocating the boys from the current Belvedere house, it unlocks the development potential of this historic building. "This is in line with the overarching vision of a campus in which student accommodation occupies the outer perimeter while we concentrate learning activities in the heart of the campus." The redevelopment of Belvedere's original, iconic site will allow the school to establish additional core teaching spaces at the heart of the campus.
"Aiglon has built a remarkable reputation as a centre for excellence, both in academic achievement and the development of the whole person through its unique range of challenging activities. It is imperative that we ensure the development of a campus that can sustain and empower ongoing innovation and educational leadership."
As part of our upcoming series on this exciting Belvedere project, we will hear from Mrs Sparrow about what this project means for the student experience. In the meantime, you can enjoy the most recent time-lapse to see how construction is progressing.