Poplars Primary School

The Brief:

Under Suffolk County Council’s new Primary Capital Programme, Poplars Primary School was earmarked as a priority school required for redevelopment. The school occupies the same grounds as Northfield St Nicholas Primary School also earmarked as a priority school. Both schools share the same site and main entrance. Because of similar requirements under the capital programme, the two projects were designed, constructed and completed together.

Poplars Primary School was required to increase the schools pupil admission numbers to accommodate up to 420 pupils plus 26 full-time or 52 part-time nursery pupils.

The Scope:

Concertus was engaged to provide a service and design solution which could deliver the client’s brief, and unify all parts of the school together with an ambition to link the internal learning environment to the external learning environment.

We provided the lead consultancy service, which included architectural and landscape design, mechanical and Electrical services along with our project management and contractor administration consultancy. The design solution improved on the existing schools facilities for the school population. This included a new nursery complex, relocated and remodelled reception classrooms, new teaching spaces and a full refurbishment of the existing facilities also incorporating new external play areas.

The Result:

The design helps towards improving the general school environment and contributing to raising educational standards in this part of Lowestoft. Additionally the works included:
• Create a communal focus within the centre of the school
• Purpose built internal courtyard for formal and social activities, secure to the outside areas
• Form links between all spaces around the school buildings offering direct sight lines to external areas via the new courtyard area
• Improved circulation throughout the building, which also incorporates a novel courtyard and pyramid, fully glazed coloured natural light windows to northern classrooms
• Quality specification finishes with robust considerations and efficient and green materials specification

Measures of success

An education facility with the flexibility to meet the needs of the local community and schools curriculum.
• The new teaching spaces are linked via a new internal perimeter glazed courtyard, the corridors provide direct links into the inner courtyard where all classrooms comprise of glazed vision panels at the rear of the rooms to ensure all children have an outlook. Fully landscaped and planted external areas which encourage learning and social scenarios for outdoor teaching and play
• Fully refurbished design with new windows, improved solar shading, improved insulation, efficient lighting
• Improvements to the schools security with re-arranged external spaces, and secure design consideration