Prior Weston Primary School relocated temporarily while its Whitecross Street site was redeveloped. The design challenge was to provide within 6 weeks, an inspiring learning environment which would last for two years, using a tired and worn 1950s school, within a tight budget.
At the heart of the school is a new roof-lit foyer, formed by enclosing a central space between three existing classroom blocks. The classrooms open into the foyer, which houses shared IT and library facilities as well as open offices for the head teacher and support staff.
A new building at the front of the site, featured a colourful facade designed by artist Sian Tucker together with a group of children from the school.
The buildings were constructed using a timber-framed cassette system, originally developed by Alan Conisbee & Associates with the contractor, Framework. Using this system, it was possible for construction to be completed during the school summer holidays.
Unusually for a temporary design, the project received an RIBA award as ‘a seriously experimental building… designed to be recycled when it is replaced by a permanent school in three years’.