Project DescriptionFROM THE ARCHITECTS:
Architects Tate Harmer, have been appointed by specialist design and build consultancy Blue Forest, to design a new teaching building for Cranleigh Preparatory School that doubles as a cricket pavilion.
The timber building that sits on a brick base uses natural materials to provide a healthy learning environment for teachers and pupils alike. The building is characterised by an undulating vaulted roof with large dual-aspect windows that allow light to fill the interior spaces. Surrounded by trees and playing fields, the new building will integrate itself into its surroundings and enhance the wider school masterplan. An external cloister wraps itself around the building so that students can move around the school in the fresh air but remain protected from the elements. Flexible interior spaces mean that the classrooms that overlook the cricket pitch can house onlookers on match days.
Tate Harmer and Blue Forest have worked together on a number of environmentally sensitive schemes and are well versed at creating buildings and structures within protected natural areas and so the design of this project will respond to the needs of the pupils without impacting on the landscape. The building is also highly energy efficient which saves the environment and simultaneously reduces costs for the school. By reorganising the layout of Cranleigh, the architects have proposed that the school garden is used as a new ‘green’ front door so that parents will be able to drop their kids off in an area framed by nature.
Internally, the new building will contain no corridors whatsoever, with direct access to the outside for every classroom. Not only does this save on construction costs but it allows for easy natural ventilation and plenty of daylight, creating spaces that benefit the well-being of the occupiers. A double-height void at the building entrance brings further space and light into the building and priovides more views out to the cricket pitch. The ground floor will contain science and technology classrooms while the upper floors house Home Economics.
Jerry Tate, Partner at Tate Harmer, “Working on Passivhaus homes and buildings such as the Eden Project has given us an extensive knowledge of carefully inserting structures into some of the most sensitive natural settings. We wanted this building to respond to the surrounding landscape and bring the students into closer contact with it. This new building on the school masterplan will improve learning and set the tone for the future development of Cranleigh.”