Palmerston Special School

City of Liverpool Architects department, Foster + Partners, Liverpool, 1976


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The school sits in its field like a luminous, five-gabled farm building 

John Donat     Download Original

  • The school sits in its field like a luminous, five-gabled farm building    
  • The school keeps a low profile    
  • Showing detail of the junction between wall and roof    
  • Ample light and open-plan space make for a flexible but exposed environment    
  • Internal area used for meals    
  • Internally space is defined using screens    
  • Boxes and specially designed furniture define the more cosy activity areas    
  • Plan    
  • Perspective    

School catering for mentally handicapped children incorporating open plan teaching space, caretaker's flat, kitchens, bathrooms and special care unit

The brief was to design a school catering for boys and girls aged four to sixteen who are mentally handicapped.

Internally the space is a simple rectangular envelope sub-divided by four service cores which define the various zones. Staff room, medical centre, kitchen's, bathroom's, caretaker's flat, teaching spaces, activity areas, laundry, plant and special care unit are all included within the space.

The lightweight envelope is supported by 12 bays of five linked portal frames. The roof is pitched giving a domestic scale and 25 per cent of the roof is translucent allowing natural light to filter into the building.


  • Completed: 1976
  • Sector: Education
  • Address: Beaconsfield Road, Liverpool, L25 6EE, United Kingdom

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