Essa Primary School
This exciting new school was set up under the Government’s Free School initiative by the Essa Foundation Academies Trust. The school caters for children aged four to eleven. The project was part refurbishment and part new build to accommodate 420 pupils.
The project was supported by the Education Funding Agency’s Free School programme. The site, which was occupied by a partially demolished secondary school, was in need of a new lease of life. The EFA carried out an initial feasibility assessment and came to the conclusion that the existing facility could be refurbished and extended into a new primary school; from reception through to juniors.
The new primary school building was originally a former high school building. Previously the existing building housed the school PE and dining halls, with large 6th form teaching bases, assembly and PE space, kitchens, offices and WCs.
The challenge for Austin-Smith:Lord was to understand how the existing large areas could be broken up into smaller zones of education spaces, for each of the clusters of Key Stage year groups. The utilisation of the taller spaces with clerestory windows to bring ventilation and natural light into the deeper spaces was paramount to the success of the design.
SERVICE: ARCHITECTURE, LANDSCAPE
LANDSCAPE: AUSTIN-SMITH: LORD