The ARK Brunel Primary Academy is part of a larger mixed-use scheme including the development of 42 residential dwellings and 2 commercial units. The scheme maximises the use and value of the tight urban site to create a new three-storey school with increased capacity and increased external play area, in addition to providing three residential sites to part fund the redevelopment of the school.
The new Primary Academy provides two forms of entry, a 30 place nursery and a specialist Speech and Language Centre for 16 pupils. The heart of the design of this Primary Academy is centred around stacking learning clusters that increase the flexibility and future adaptability of the learning environments. These face onto two quiet courtyard play areas in the centre of the urban block. The upper levels also open onto external teaching terraces to provide a variety of learning environments.
The larger communal and community spaces face the quiet residential street at the front of the school. The building form has an articulated roof line and features that lend it a civic scale and quality.
Sustainably sourced, low carbon cross laminated timber (CLT) is used as both structural and surface finish material to provide an economic design that reduced time and disruption on site and provides a warm and interesting internal environment to the school. The building is naturally ventilated and uses various control systems to ensure the best internal environmental conditions are met. Photo-voltaic panels produce renewable energy and a green roof encourages biodiversity and provides insulation. The building has achieved a BREEAM Excellent rating.