Kingswood Prep School
A new classroom and hall building for Kingswood School in Bath.
Kingswood School, as part of their ongoing building programme, and within the framework of their Strategic Masterplan, created new accommodation for the Preparatory School.
The School re-accommodates facilities in a fit-for-purpose new school building. This includes classrooms for Years 5 and 6, Music, Art, Technology and Design facilities, STEAM and a new School Hall.
The new building takes the form of a collection of pitched and hipped roofs. Roofs and walls are clad in western red cedar shingles, a woodland crafted response, with a scale that children can relate to. A plinth is formed in a tactile brick which has the tones of Bath stone, relating the building to the wider school site and the World Heritage City.
“Stonewood Design have helped design the most amazing space for our children at Kingswood Prep School. The building is inspirational and has had such a positive impact on our teaching and learning. Stonewood have been with us from the start of the project to completion. Their vision has meant that we have a stunning new facility that we are all incredibly proud of.”
Mark Brearey, Headmaster, Kingswood Preparatory School.
The plan layout wraps the New Prep School Building around a collection of pine trees which sit within a timber platform structure. This serves to include the tree platform into the accommodation, offering it as an additional outdoor classroom.
The layout also allows the New Prep School Building to embrace and encompass the already existing “forest school” areas to the east, such as the camp-fire area, the tunnels and the zip wire.
To the west of the New Prep School Building, the site opens out to the views and existing open grassed landscape. The site therefore has a landscape of two distinct characters either side of the proposed building.
Entrance and approach to the New Prep School Building is clear, and has a very good adjacency to the existing Preparatory School.
Two distinct volumes are connected by the central entrance space, which may also be used as display or performance space. The southernmost volume contains the Year 5 and 6 Classrooms and “STEAM” facilities. The northernmost volume contains the Hall and Music facilities.
The Classroom “cluster” is identifiable to a child, with all classrooms on one floor at ground floor level. It is key that the Classrooms are bound by a library / learning zone / shared group space, which is the heart of the building in terms of accessibility and knowledge.
“The mature beeches along the city skyline are now joined by pitched-roof volumes in cedar with an airy, woody feel and relaxed circulation you could happily skip along.......
......it is a reminder that in the right hands a technology such as cross laminated timber, which is increasingly common in schools, can be used well and simply to make a good space extraordinary.”
Eleanor Young, RIBA Journal, March 2019.