Larch Canopy at Ralph Allen School

Feilden Fowles, Bath, 2012


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  • FeildenFowles_Larch canopy and classroom_01_300dpi.jpg    
  • Bird    
  • Outdoor classroom in use    
  • View towards raised outdoor teaching area    
  • Site Plan    
  • Ground Floor Plan    
  • Short section of canopy    
  • West Elevation    
  • Perspective view towards outdoor teaching space    
  • Structural Axonometric    

Provision of a new larch canopy at Ralph Allen School to create a covered outdoor teaching space and provide passive solar shading to the adjacent classrooms

The timber canopy links the three main blocks at Ralph Allen, a secondary school in Bath. The undulating roof profile provides an informal covered social space that frequently doubles up as an outdoor learning classroom.

Derived from a functional brief to provide adequate shelter to facilitate outdoor teaching, the canopy has also helped raise the level of design aspiration across the school.

Simple galvanized posts lift the lightweight larch structure high above the student activity below creating generous, lofty spaces for contemplation, socialising and learning. The density of the structure playfully varies to animate the space with ever changing light and shadow. Clad in polycarbonate sheets, the canopy protects the students from the elements.

The canopy acts as a gateway to the central quadrangle beyond, defining its edge and fostering a relationship between the disparate adjacent buildings and outdoor landscape. The canopy was the first phase in a wider Masterplan.


  • Begun: Feb 2012
  • Completed: Apr 2012
  • Floor area: 330m2
  • Sector: Education
  • Total cost: £73,000
  • Tender date: Jan 2012
  • Procurement: Bespoke Traditional
  • Address: Ralph Allen School, , Bath, BA2 7AD , United Kingdom

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