Knowle DGE Learning Centre
Bristol City Council
- Civic Trust Award regional finalist, 2012
- Shortlisted for the BCSE Industry Award for Excellence in design for teaching and learning: Special Educational Needs, 2011
Many of the children who attend the learning centre have had very negative and often difficult experiences of school within mainstream environments and therefore required a unique environment which is nurturing and more suited to their needs.
We sought to break down the accommodation to create smaller key stage clusters with common rooms at their heart. Within the clusters each learning base also has its own direct access to external teaching areas or breakout space adjacent to the building. The wider landscape creates different areas for learning through landscape including sporting facilities, allotments, wood craft areas, mountain bike tracks, performance spaces together with a geodesic greenhouse and their very own potting shed. The LoDGE provides respite for parents/carers accommodating 13 students on a temporary basis. The Learning Centre also house a real life working wing with a café, shop, car mechanic workshop, construction training area, catering kitchen and manufacturing opportunities. Children, parents, staff, local residents and the local authority all acted as exemplary stakeholders and were committed to a fantastic vision.
The project received additional funding from the Department of Environment and Climate Change (DECC) by achieving a 60% carbon reduction saving from a traditional school building. It has achieved a Very Good BREEAM rating.