Grainge Architects have worked with Kier Construction to gain planning approval for a new school on the site of the existing Chagford Primary School within the boundary of Dartmoor National Park.
The scheme is part of the Government’s ‘Priority School Building Programme’, transforming some of the most run-down schools in the country, ensuring children and young people are being taught in an environment where they can fulfil their potential. Within the current programme of Education Funding Agency projects the new school represents one of only eight successful bids, proposed by Devon County Council for replacement schools, in the whole of the County.
Over the last year the design team led by Grainge Architects has developed this design whilst working closely with the EFA, Headteacher and School Staff, School Governing Body, Community & the Dartmoor National Parks Authority. Through this intensive process a design was conceived which integrates the detailed functional requirements of the EFA, and the Schools own requirements with the design sensitivity necessary when building within the the Dartmoor National Park.
The new School will relate to its immediate context in terms of positioning, scale & massing but also in terms of the materials used. The white rendered facades, pitched slate roofing & clad apexed school hall all combine to anchor the proposed school in Chagford’s rich architectural heritage. The landscape setting of the school has been carefully conceived to ensure that an attractive & appropriate entrance to the Stannary Town of Chagford is achieved. Visitors to the town will firstly notice the School Hall, displaying its natural ventilation chimneys and demonstrating the building’s green credentials.
Great care has been taken to create the best possible healthy learning environment through sensitive design, with high levels of natural daylight & ventilation being achieved. Classrooms are specifically tailored to deliver the school curriculum; early years provision is excellent with direct access to safe external play space in line with statutory requirements. A larger new school hall has been provided, which will now enable the statutory PE curriculum to be fully delivered. The Hall will also function as a community facility; secure zones of access have been designed into the proposal to limited areas of the building which will be opened up for evening & weekend community use.
The new building will be built on the existing playing field to the front of the existing site, then new external play areas & sport facilities are to be recreated on the site of the old building. First & foremost, the children’s education will not be interrupted. They will be able to stay in the existing building while the new school is constructed and make one move to their new environment with no dependency on temporary accommodation. The new site layout allows for segregation of cars & children, so a far safer school will result from this proposal. Service deliveries, staff & visitor parking are provided in a purpose built car park set apart from the pedestrian entrances. Level access throughout the school & grounds will ensure access is easy for all.
Our design will ensure future generations of Chagford get a purpose built new school building appropriate to the 21st Century.