The Cedar School
Kier & Education Funding Agency
The school is a community of learners that work in open partnership to meet the educational, physical and health needs of their children. The design seeks to align with the school’s educational vision and wonderfully positive ‘I can’ culture.
The school occupies a secluded, leafy site off Redbridge Lane which is characterised by a variety of mature trees. The existing premises are a single storey building and the need for upgrade and replacement is apparent throughout. The project includes the demolition of the old premises and a complete rebuild. The design responds to the school’s specific requirements, whilst ensuring the tight budget set by the EFA and PSBP is met.
The new design is a single storey level access building as it was important to the school that the children could move around the building independently wherever possible. Access to fresh air and external environments is fundamental to the school and this is reflected in the new outdoor classrooms, sensory garden, terraces and gardening areas. The layout forms a horseshoe shape with multi-agency and out-of-hours spaces in the northwest arm adjacent to the street frontage, pedestrian access and mini-bus drop-off area. The central and southeast cranked elements accommodate the class bases and ancillary facilities. These are punctuated by larger communal spaces (key to team activities) that the school describes as “hearts”. Directly opposite the welcoming entrance space is a key “heart” space, the school hall. Double sided circulation ensures efficient use of space to maximise learning spaces, offering excellent value for money. Textured timber sensory panels are mounted to the wall as part of the school’s way-finding strategy. Our design proposal is underpinned by a focus on reducing energy consumption through design including the optimisation of building form and careful façade design to minimise unwanted solar gain.
Photography by Simon Kennedy