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
The Learning Centre caters for children from 7-18 years. Many of the children who attend Knowle DGE have had very negative and often difficult experiences of school within mainstream environments and therefore require a unique environment which is nurturing and more suited to their needs.
At Knowle DGE 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 Learning Centre also house a real life working wing with a café, shop, car mechanic workshop, construction training area, catering kitchen and manufacturing opportunities. The Learning Centre is already producing a range of different products that they sell on site and on line.
The graphic and architectural solution were very much integrated to create a strong brand for the Learning Centre. Children, parents, staff, local residents and the local authority all acted as exemplary stakeholders and were committed to a fantastic vision.
The Learning Centre has an associated LoDGE to provide respite for parents/carers, accommodating 13 children with MLD and SEBD on a temporary basis.
It has gained a “Very Good” BREEAM rating.
Photography by Dennis Gilbert/View