Located on a section of the playing fields of the Hundred of Hoo Academy in north Kent, the new primary school expands the existing secondary facility to all ages. Benefiting from a green, rural setting, the design positions a simple and efficient two-storey building within a generous landscape, as important a resource for the children’s education as the classrooms and other spaces within.
Complementing an existing mature tree belt to the north and east, the landscape design features a wildlife pond and other features to support biodiversity, with a range of secure green spaces in which the pupils can experience and learn about different ecologies.
The design of the building and its landscape anticipates its expansion from a single to a two-form entry facility – this will be achieved economically and with minimal disruption to the school’s operation. The emphasis upon future-proofing is also reflected in the low-energy approach to the building’s construction and operation, and in its design using a 3D BIM (Building Information Modelling) environment.
The design concept combines a simplicity and economy of form with a clear and strong identity. A composition of volumes on a simple 'L' shaped plan contains and gives expression to the different functional spaces in the building.
The school is compactly planned over two storeys. Attention to detail is a feature of all elements of the project, both internal and external. The volumetric massing of the building lends itself to simple, crisp interfaces between the different cladding materials.