Following the collapse of a PFI programme with a large national design enterprise for a brick pitched tiled roof building, we were asked to act as lead consultant for the Design and Construction of a new £2.0M Primary School in Derbyshire. The school was to replace an old village school which was no longer large enough to meet the needs of a growing community.
We were employed as lead consultant from the early concept stage to on-site completion working with a team of professionals and administering the construction process. From the very beginning our approach was different – Simon Gratton worked very closely with the Headteacher, to understand her specific requirements.
The school was designed to incorporate ideas and concepts around progression through learning and the Christian cross, to create a light, airy flexible learning environment for the children.
The use of glass in the corridors maximises natural light.
The use of design features throughout the building adds interest and focal points.
The central circular space is called ‘the hub’ which acts as a crush space at the intersection of the east and west wing corridors with the Main Hall.
Modern design ideas were also incorporated to the exterior of the building, as the pictures of the entrance and administration rooms below show.
Resourcing local materials was a key environmental consideration and a relevance to the school’s location. Local Derbyshire gritstone was sourced to build the curved entrance wall designed to ‘welcome’ and to feature and to provide a weather shelter.
Low level windows were included throughout the building to allow the children to see through the walls between the spaces, thus allowing them to interact with the building – a key element for the headteacher.
Sustainably forested White Oak was specified by us for all internal finsihing items to give a beautiful natural finish and a hard wearing life.
Exciting and stimulating play areas were incorporated, again with external design features of the building adding interest.
Hall with glulam beam and underfloor heating to composite oak boards. Above the clerestory glazing and cross through ventilation windows.
The project was finished to programme and to budget and the greatest commendation came from the headteacher when she subsequently told us that teaching standards had improved as a direct result of the new building and the quality of the teaching environment.