Skanska/Essex County Council
- Civic Trust Awards Commendation, 2013
We worked with the client group to create solutions for Columbus which would allow the SEN students to play an integrated role in society throughout their lives at the school, college and beyond. The college has a maturer and simpler form than the school, with a large central atrium with zones overlooking it.
A range of social and personalised learning areas are provided at ground and first floor level in and around the atrium. At the front the new college creates a large community square known as “Columbus Square”. This provides a space for the local community to celebrate, to eat, drink, sit, meet, hold events and enjoy in the community cafe, hall and library provisions on the site. Columbus is a National Support School and part of a National School Alliance offering support to others schools in the North Chelmsford area. This led for the need for the design to be exemplar in every way and we provided additional spaces for research, development and training.
At the heart of the College’s plan and adjacent to the atrium, the eco-courtyard was designed to stimulate the senses through scented planting, textural effects and rainwater harvesting.
Photography by ©Hufton+Crow