The brief received for the project, was to create a building, which would raise the spirits of the students, reflect the aspirations of the school and support the already high quality of the educational achievement. It would exude innovation in curriculum delivery and provide a building that the community would be proud to own. The school’s vision was to create an electrifying, vibrant, and interactive environment that would also address the shortfall of specialist teaching accommodation, especially science and music.
The design and the completed scheme has created a totally integrated building; knitting the existing with the new via bridge links, atria circulation and with the clever use of low gradient ramps within the wide circulation zones. The works focused on creating a sense of identity and arrival for the school whilst providing appropriate teaching spaces to replace well below standard and inefficient accommodation spread across a disparate campus. The creation of social spaces and personalised learning areas, as well as an imaginative approach to teaching science were the key drivers for the scheme.
The new development fronts onto Two Hedges Road, providing a clearly identifiable main entrance and reception. The sweeping two storey curved façade provides a major contrast to the existing school buildings. The upper level is clad in copper, creating a vibrant façade to the boundary and providing a warm contrast to the white, rendered walls that front onto the inner courtyards. The translucent rodeca accentuates the concept of the floating base.
The entrance opens out into a central double height atrium space, which is covered with ETFE, flooding the centre of the building with natural light and providing a spill out space for learning and social interaction. This creates the new ‘heart’ to the school, welcoming visitors, assisting with circulation and providing an essential spill out space for learning and social interaction. The ground floor departments of music, learning skills, and ICT are all accessible from the central atrium.
Internally the building structure is exposed as part of the teaching tool, illustrating the different and various tolerances of materials as a science education.
|Location||Bishop’s Cleeve, Cheltenham|
|Client||Gloucestershire County Council & Governors of Cleeve School|
|Project value||£7.8 million|
|RIBA Work Stages||0 - 7|
|Project status||Completed (2009)|
|cube_design team||Jane Lock-Smith|
|Project team||cube_design (Architect) | Hyder (Structural Engineer) | Jones King Partnership (Building Services) | Illman Young (Landscape Architect) | Sweett Group (Cost Consultant) | Vinci (Contractor)|