St Mary’s School

A project for a new entrance to an existing Primary School, replacing a single storey extension with a new two storey building that provided a new ‘front door’, unified the existing buildings and upgraded the staff and parent facilities.

The Slab Design Union proposal was for a two-storey block of accommodation that collected staff facilities into a ‘front of house’ arrangement, whilst providing an improved secure line between public and pupil areas.

The exterior of the new extension was a response to the established materials of the original school buildings and the adjacent church bordering the site. A palette of dark brick walls is broken by full height glazing to provide a counterpoint to the bright and colourful interior.

A double height atrium links staff accommodation with the public entrance area, and creates an improved interaction between staff, teachers and pupils alike. Breakout spaces for pupil activities occupy the link between the entrance and the classrooms.

The existing parking was relocated from the front of the site to the rear, as a way of unlocking a key visual corridor from the road to the new entrance, that created the opportunity for a new landscaped pedestrian route into the school, incorporating a mature tree lined walkway, play areas, sensory gardens and growing areas. The landscaping strategy extended into the rear of the site and linked to the playing fields, allowing the principal elevations of the building to be sited within a fully landscaped corridor.

Future phases of the project proposed a reconfiguration of the existing spaces to create a linked series of internal and external zones, with further private amenity spaces to the rear of the site, and an upgrading of the external works to incorporate interactive learning areas between the teaching spaces.

Client – CDL Developments
Type – Education
Location – Cannock, South Staffordshire, UK
Status – Feasibility