Holbrook Primary School

A purpose built KS2 primary school centred around healthy learning environments


Trowbridge, Whiltshire

Holbrook Primary School is a 1.5FE place primary school in Trowbridge, Wiltshire. It had 4 ageing mobile classrooms and Footprint architects were appointed to design a new classroom building to replace the mobiles that were at the end of their serviceable life. Through an initial feasibility appraisal an option appraisal identified that a new single storey building as a viable building option to provide a dedicated KS2 building. Maximising sustainable features, the new building is focused around healthy classrooms to promote an innovative learning environment. Working closely with the Head Teacher and Council the new school building responds and enhances the existing school’s site creating child centred external learning spaces consisting of new play, garden and courtyard areas. The primary school design takes inspiration from the wider context of the historic Trowbridge town.

The building uses a simple architectural form that is sympathetic of the local residential setting with detailing influenced by the classical historical architecture in Trowbridge. Further considerations were taken to maximise the ecology on the site minimising the impact to the tree line, protecting the privacy of the neighbours

External timber cladding and brickwork is combined to is used to create banding and texture reflecting the hierarchical design of the local 18th and 19th Century Georgian and Victorian Architecture. The timber is combined with pink brickwork, reflecting the school’s vernacular and continuing the rich brick history of the town, grounding the project in it’s surroundings.

The glazed openings use traditional Georgian proportions and hierarchies which forms a colonnade facade to the new courtyard to create a welcoming connection and well-lit learning spaces. The facade is enhanced with the playful addition of heritage green frames complementing the white timber and pink bricks. The tactile cladding also invites stimulating engagement with the built form for the children within their external play spaces.

The internal spaces are just as bold as the exterior with high vaulted ceilings flooding classrooms with natural light creating a stimulating and healthy learning environment for KS2. The colonnade corridor strengthens the connection with the both the classrooms and external play spaces whilst large corner windows provide a social connection with the school’s field and garden.

At the public consultation Footprint architects engaged the school's children, teachers, parents and local community in multiple presentations including an immersive virtual reality (VR) experience allowing you to step into the new spaces. The school have chosen a group of Yr1 students to take up special roles throughout the projects design and construction phase providing opportunities to learn the job roles of architects and contractors.

Behind The Scenes

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