Fordham Outdoor Classroom

HAT Projects, Colchester, 2014

 

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An outdoor classroom for a primary school

When the parent-teacher association at a local primary school in north Essex announced that it was fundraising for a generic catalogue ‘outdoor classroom’, the practice suggested that the it could help create something bespoke and co-designed with the school instead.

The architect ran a series of workshops with the whole primary school of 120 pupils to develop the design, before self-building the structure during half-term, with materials donated at a discount by local builders merchants and suppliers.

The classroom has a simple circular plan which accommodates a class of 30 pupils under an expressive hyperbolic paraboloid roof which hovers above the protective ‘plinth’ and bench, allowing views out over the surrounding valleys to all sides.

The whole structure is climbable and robust, and it is half-recessed into an existing earth mound in the site, so that the level change around the structure provides additional opportunities to climb and play.

Data

  • Begun: May 2014
  • Completed: Jun 2014
  • Floor area: 28m2
  • Sector: Education
  • Total cost: £6,000
  • Procurement: Self-build
  • Address: Fordham All Saints CE VC Primary School, Mill Road, Colchester, CO6 3NN, United Kingdom

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