Completed – September 2012
Client: Worcestershire County Council
Winner of RIBA Architecture WM Award 2013
Howl Associates were appointed by Worcestershire County Council to design a replacement primary school on the site of the existing St. Georges school in Kidderminster. Various design options were considered including the evaluation of alternative sites before the brief was finalised as a 1.5 form entry primary school and nursery.
The site presented a number of challenges both in terms of level changes and the logistics of developing a ‘tight’ occupied site. The design solution adopts a compact and efficient plan form that addresses the schools requirements for links between early years classes, through KS1 to KS2.
While the design allows clear control of public and private areas the teaching staff wish to actively encourage parents to enter the cloistered courtyard space to drop off and collect children at individual classroom doors. This will provide an opportunity for parents to discuss issues with the teachers. During the school day the courtyard becomes a private space bounded on two sides by the classrooms and on the other two sides by the established forest schools and habitat areas. Classrooms open directly onto the courtyard and are provided with a generous covered cloister, providing both shelter and solar shading.
The plan leads from the classroom areas to group teaching and resource spaces and a smaller internal cloister, ideal for group teaching areas or staff breakout spaces.
The design utilises a simple load bearing masonry cross-wall construction with ‘floating’ pavilion style roofs topped with an extensive sedum green roof. The green roof forms an important part of a fully integrated landscape and Suds scheme.
The design utilises a natural ventilation system with integral heating coils to control CO2 levels with heat supplied using a biomass boiler. The overall design fully integrates the supply grilles, vents, flues and the sprinkler system to create a coherent and elegant solution.
Completed ready for the teachers and pupils to begin the 2012/2013 school year, the building has recently been awarded a prestigious RIBA WM Award 2013.