Sandal Magna School

Sarah Wigglesworth Architects, Wakefield, 2010


Subscribe now to instantly view this image

Subscribe to the Architects’ Journal (AJ) for instant access to the AJ Buildings Library, an online database of nearly 2,000 exemplar buildings in photographs, plans, elevations and details.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

Terraced walkway between the central and classroom unit 

Mark Hadden (website)     Download Original

  • Terraced walkway between the central and classroom unit    
  • Razored classrooms in contemporary terrace design    
  • Classroom terrace    
  • Elevation of the classroom terrace    
  • Playground and elevation of terraced classrooms    
  • Assembly Hall with perforated brick wall at the far end    
  • Exposed metal service grids on the ceilings throughout the classrooms    
  • Corridor leading to classrooms, with coloured wall dividing it from the library    
  • Location plan    
  • Site plan    
  • GA plan    
  • Elevations     
  • Elevations of sections    
  • Group shed    
  • Hall Section    
  • Hall Section    
  • Ceiling grid plan    
  • Site plan    
  • GA Plan    
  • Library & ICT Shed    
  • Library window details    

Community Primary School, with a focus on sustainability

The building's masonry mass, the sizeable photovoltaic array on the roof of the assembly hall and the use of passive ventilation, rainwater harvesting, ground source heat pumps, all contribute to its sustainability.

The design gestures towards sustainability in its materials: exposed, untreated timber is used in the school's facade and terraced playground. Wall vegetation and allotments also ostensibly contribute to the project's green premise.

The project is planned as three connecting units, the central one being the entrance with dining hall, assembly hall, and covered play areas. The northern section houses the classrooms and special needs room, whilst offices and kitchen make up the other wing.

The old Victorian school building was demolished and the new site design was made to echo its surrounding architecture by creating a linear terrace of classrooms with a central connecting corridor. A coloured wall divides the corridor from the school library.

Inside the classrooms the service grids have been exposed, showing metal and serpentine copper piping. The brickwork of the hall is perforated to absorb sounds from outside

The timber stepping alongside the hall's gable end are the focus for playground, and a view of the bell tower is hoped to enhance the townscape.


  • Begun: Apr 2009
  • Completed: Oct 2010
  • Floor area: 2,985m2
  • Sector: Education
  • Total cost: £5.2M
  • Procurement: JCT SBC 05
  • CO2 Emissions: 18.5kg/m2/year
  • Address: Sandal Magna Community Primary School, Belle Vue Road, Wakefield, WF1 5NF, United Kingdom

Professional Team


AJBL Sponsor

Sika Liquid Plastics

Since 1963 we have produced an extensive range of high performance, technologically advanced coatings and membranes for the protection and waterproofing of roofs and balconies

Find out more