St Benedict's new atrium and sculpture - celebrating 120 years
A new sculpture and atrium were officially unveiled and opened at St Benedict’s on Monday 20th February, to mark the school’s 120th anniversary.
The reception was attended by students, staff, parents, governors, and alumni, and ended a year of commemorative events at St Benedict’s. These have included concerts, a sports festival, the planting of 120 trees and a theology conference.
The sculpture was designed by St Benedict’s student Jamie Perotti, who is currently in Lower 5th (Year 10). “I designed the sculpture in my art lesson, originally in clay”, commented Jamie, who attended the unveiling. “The seven spheres of the design represent the different stages in our school years, with each one getting progressively bigger. This reflects our motto at St Benedict’s, a minimis incipe – which means ‘from the smallest beginnings’”.
Our atrium is a place of welcome – and is therefore an important addition to our Benedictine school, where hospitality is one of our key values. This very fine sculpture complements it beautifully."Headmaster, Andrew Johnson
Jamie’s design was developed by the Head of Art, Design and Technology at St Benedict’s, Rod Pereira, and Design teacher Mauricio Mendes. The sculpture was fabricated in stainless steel by Karim Attoui of MDM Props.
The atrium was designed by architect Katie Wilmot, a former St Benedict’s student and president of the school’s Old Priorian Association. It stands at the Marchwood Crescent entrance of the school and is a light-filled, wood panelled hall overlooking landscaped gardens. As well as a spacious foyer, the atrium also acts as an exhibition area for artwork, and can be used to host receptions and meetings, as well as for various classes, such as drama, art, and yoga.
The Headmaster, Andrew Johnson, opened the event with a short address to the guests, and said: “Our atrium is a place of welcome – and is therefore an important addition to our Benedictine school, where hospitality is one of our key values. This very fine sculpture complements it beautifully; I am delighted that we have representatives here this evening from the Society of Parents and Friends, who generously helped to fund it.”
The atrium was then blessed by the Abbot of St Benedict’s Abbey, Dom Dominic Taylor, OSB, and the sculpture was unveiled by the Chair of Governors, Joe Berger.
Mr Berger, who was educated at St Benedict’s, highlighted the main characteristics of the education offered at the school. The qualities of determination, service, resilience, and leadership were central to the St Benedict’s ethos, he said – from its foundation in 1902 to the present day.