The new English department was designed as a compact, efficient single storey building to house six new classrooms and staff offices about a central spine corridor. Our aim was to design a simple, inspiring and innovative building to enhance the learning experience of the pupils. We were also keen to demonstrate that it is possible to deliver an exemplary, modern, low energy building on a modest budget.

Natural ventilation and high levels of day lighting have been incorporated within the design. A deep roof overhang and solar shading blinds control glare and solar gains. Elsewhere, a ground source heat pump heats provides the buildings heat while a wind turbine has been erected to generate electricity sufficient for the building’s operation. The building has been designed to BREEAM ‘Excellent’ standard and has received grants from the Low Carbon Buildings Trust and EDF.

The refurbishment of the 1970’s ‘Technology’ building has created a stylish, contemporary arts department and college style ‘commercial’ catering facility. Both elements have been enthusiastically received by staff and pupils.

A new open plan studio and the more conventional classroom spaces have been located around the naturally lit perimeter of the building. A new gallery space and black-pod IT suite sit centrally within depth of the plan. A vibrant green industrial resin floor finish and bold graphics have been used to help give the department a strong identity within the school.