Forest Bridge School
Kier/ Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead
The new school provides an exemplar environment with a high level of therapeutic support and excellent teaching to allow students with autism to achieve their full potential and to make the most of their intellectual ability, focus and skills. We consulted and engaged with the stakeholders to define the brief and realise the design. The school has been designed intelligently to enable each child to have a rite of passage, given they may potentially be taught at the school for their full education. The design identifies the primary and secondary school as two individual wings, forming a courtyard, with the central wing containing shared, specialist and administrative facilities. The building form enables all classrooms to be on the ground floor, essential for these learners, to give direct access to external learning. This then leads to key stage specific external play on each side of the building, to separate the very young and older children and allow for age appropriate play equipment. The central courtyard will be used for external dining and a shared quiet sanctuary space. A safe external roof terrace has been created to give students quick access to an external provision on the upper floors, to help manage their emotions.
The building sits within greenbelt land and has challenges of flood risk, significant level changes and on a historic land fill. The team worked very hard to overcome these technical challenges and worked closely with the local planning authority.