Baseline design for a 1,200 place secondary school: finger block
The design shown is a 2 or 3 storey building for 1,200 pupils aged 11 to 16. The school is devised as a ‘kit of parts’ based on the suites of spaces in the Schedule of Accommodation (SoA).
Such an approach allows:
- parts to be combined in various ways to suit the particular needs of a site, including where some buildings are being retained
- easier phased construction
- teaching wings to be positioned to optimise orientation
- external circulation between blocks
Other key features of the design are:
- that general and practical teaching spaces are organised in suites with a sense of identity but allowing some variation in the range of spaces (each floor which can serve one or two departments includes a staff work-room and an office, teaching stores, and toilets)
- the simple 3 storey teaching wings provide an efficient building form that is easy to extend in future (the short and long blocks can be combined in various ways to suit a wide range of school sizes)
- voids in the centre of the teaching wings bring daylight into the corridor and the backs of classrooms (they also act as ventilation stacks providing natural ventilation particularly in the summertime)
- uninterrupted runs of 7.8 metre room depth allow both general and practical teaching spaces to be accommodated and facilitate future change
- the dining space provides a central focus to the school and can be used as a milling space during the school day and, in conjunction with hall and drama space, for after school events.