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Downton Primary School - External Classroom

Bringing the outside in with an uplifting sensory learning environment


Downton, Wiltshire

Following on from their award winning entrance pavilion extension at Downton Primary School, Footprint Architects have completed a striking new external classroom space for the school.

In their second addition to the Victorian Grade 2 listed school building, the new translucent inside outside space is designed as a sensory classroom environment that enables free flow for foundation level children.

The design concept developed was for a sensory inside/outside classroom space providing children with continual access to the outside learning environment.

This child friendly architectural design creates an inviting tactile environment which children will automatically associate with a safe, playful space. Instead of a simple separation between the interior and the exterior, the space provides a dynamic filter that changes throughout the day. The polycarbonate envelope creates a new facade expression introducing colour, diffused daylight and transparency, framing views of the play area and forming an internal sensory environment. The internal fabric of the listed building has been left exposed whilst the extension was conceived as a child’s toy box and clad completely in birch plywood. The design has a soft rubber floor extending the playground into the building to blur the distinction between inside and outside whilst remaining versatile and safe. Alongside the modest extension there are minor internal alterations within the existing listed building to link the two reception classes and provide more storage in the corridors.

Translucent Glazing by Rodeca

Behind The Scenes

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