Somerhill Music School, Kent

Somerhill is a grade I Jacobean mansion within a grade II registered park designed by William Sawrey Gilpin in the 1830s. The property is now a school and lies within the High Weald AONB and Metropolitan Green Belt. The school is seeking planning permission for a new music school building within the complex of nineteenth-century service buildings.

acta's site analysis identified the location with the least impact on the historic landscape and the mansion. Working with the architects Clague, a setting for the new building was then designed to absorb it into the surrounding parkland and woodland, while providing a suitable formal setting for the building. The scheme is also an opportunity to reinforce the network of field boundaries and woodland edges for wildlife.


Reinforcing the woodland and treebelt boundaries improves landscape quality, provides screening and wildlife benefits


A detailed design is being prepared


The site was carefully chosen to lie within the complex of service buildings and parkland edge