The new 600-place annexe to Ousedale School provides an attractive learning environment in an area of recent demographic growth. The brief was to create a striking, state-of-the-art building in an essentially rural setting adding value to the community as a whole. Designed on a sloping wheat field site, the buildings break down massing to create a non institutional school that sits comfortably in the landscape. Accommodation is arranged as two main blocks on either side of a sheltered west-facing courtyard, which are linked at one end by a light and welcoming entrance hall, offering on arrival views into the courtyard and through the school.
Transparency is an important aspect of the design, with glazed screens helping with behaviour, wayfinding, and the visibility of learning and teaching.
The school buildings were designed for flexibility, with a concrete frame and floor construction adaptable to different pedagogies and operational arrangements, while focusing on the experience of students, teachers and visitors.
Amenities shared with the community – sports and assembly halls as well as music and drama spaces – are located in the south wing which has a dramatic profiled roof, extending to cover the glazed entrance.