Skanska/Essex County Council
- Civic Trust Awards Commendation, 2013
The extension and refurbishment re-organised the various elements into clearly legible wings for Early Years, Key Stages 2/3 and administration areas. The central “Jungle” – so called because of its height, distinctive bamboo graphics on the glazing, and columns with special sensory textures provides a street space that unifies the school, bringing together the different wings with a central focus. Another key feature was the approach to combine the requirements for inclusion with the strong landscape and ecological qualities of the site, creating an “Eco Trail” which weaves inside and outside the building. The trail offers students experiences of dry banks, historic hedgerows, wetland areas, roosting bats, and many other unusual bird and wildlife habitats.
The Eco Trail starts and finishes at the heart of the school in the “Discovery Zone” within the “Jungle” space. The “Discovery Zone” is a space where groups of children from our school and other local schools (to support inclusion) can partake in activities linking art, science and information technology. Off this space is an immersive space that offers students a three dimensional experience of the real world with images projected onto the walls and the floor. These architectural solutions scheme allow the students to play an integrated role in society.
Photography by ©Hufton+Crow