“The scheme’s success can be put down to the closecollaboration between the architect, structural engineer and landscape architect.Together, they were able to resolve issues of levels, access and circulationaround the new extension, leading to an enhancement of the school’s learningenvironment.” - Sue Whiteley, Head ofLandscape Architecture
The Brief: The Old Newton Primary School is a rural Victorian school, much extended, of traditional red brick construction situated on a sloping site that is surrounded by mature trees and hedges, which create a pleasant environment for the pupils. The project formed part of SCC School Organisation Review (SOR) and the retention of Year 5 & 6 pupils at Old Newton required a new class base to accommodate the additional pupils.
The Scope: The scheme progressed from feasibility to construction via close collaboration between the architect, structural engineer and landscape architect to resolve issues of levels, access and circulation around the new extension and to enhance the current learning environment.
The scope of the project included -
- An extension to provide one class base, three stores, two pupil toilets and an access lobby
- Providing a 'Teaching wall' within the class base, as well as sinks, cloaks and built-in storage cupboards
- Providing a staff car park on the existing hard play area to the front of the school. This would alleviate existing traffic congestion issues by freeing up the lay by parking used by staff cars
- Providing a new hard play area adjacent to the new extension, to replace the existing sloping hard play area
- Installing soft landscape and planting.
The Result: The extension was built to the east of the existing class base into the sloping playing field. Its design followed that of the existing buildings, consisting of red facing brick walls with vertical timber clad panels to match the existing elevation and a slate pitched roof. Large windows overlook the new playground.
The location of the building necessitated the grass sports pitches to be relocated, circulation routes to be reconfigured and earth shaping to the playing field to ensure new slopes were safe and maintainable. Steeper slopes were planted providing scent and colour. New brick retaining walls enabled path circulation around the end of the new extension. The new playground was designed to be of sufficient size and level gradient to provide a useable ball court for team games (complete with ball stop fencing), something the school had not had access to previously.