Embracing nature with design and materials, this academy provides an inspirational learning environment that prioritises wellbeing and sustainability through the creation of fluid, multi-use spaces.
This 3615m2 primary school, with a nursery, which hosts up to 708 children and 60 staff, was completed in just 14 months. The school is an important civil building for the emerging community at Wintringham Park, an urban extension to the Cambridgeshire town of St Neots. The superstructure, which is built out of cross-laminated timber (CLT), is a high quality and low-carbon, sequestering 166 metric tonnes of carbon.
By choosing CLT, the project team reduced time on site creating a safer, cleaner working environment. The exposure of the timber superstructure timber in teaching spaces embraces the benefits of wood, lowering pupils stress levels, and creating a nurturing learning environment.
The design is organised as a school in the round with two stacked levels of classrooms arranged around a landscaped courtyard, known as the grove. As well as providing easy navigation, this biophilic approach allows all classrooms to benefit from natural light from both the internal and external aspects.