The brief from Warrington B.C. was for the design of a new build 2 Form Entry Primary School located on a former American Airbase in the newly created Chapelford Urban Village. Strzala Architects worked on the project through all design stages and the scheme was completed in March 2013.
The first impression upon approaching the school is of a vibrant and dynamic learning environment. A feature wall of clay tiles made by the children, alongside the sweeping curved form of the reception class, channels visitors towards the entrance doors. Upon entry to the building, staff and children are presented with a bright and airy space, with a view down the learning street that sets a positive expectation for the remainder of the building. This Learning Street concept utilises corridors for the exhibition of children’s work and is punctured with a series of skylights that bring in natural light from above.
Externally the different uses of the building are readily identifiable by means of their form and colour. Bold forms such as the reception class pod, the curve of the learning street corridors, and the angular bays on each classroom add interest and rhythm to the schemes composition. Classrooms are organised sequentially, articulated externally with indented facades and are colour coded to enhance identification and ownership of space by the children.
The orientation of the building has also maximised the potential for natural daylight and views out of the classrooms, without creating a problem with solar gain.
CHAPELFORD VILLAGE PRIMARY SCHOOL
Location: Warrington, Cheshire, UK
Client: Warrington Borough Council
Contractor: John Turner & Sons
Project Lead: Peter Marshall