Worksop College Junior School
Woodard Schools (Nottinghamshire) Ltd
Cuthbert's Avenue, Worksop
A series of punctuated linear wings wrapping around a central quad
The proposal is the outcome of the overarching brief to provide first class, state-of-the-art teaching and learning accommodation which allows the Junior School to meet its current and future needs. The building, which conceptually links back to the architectural pin-wheel plan of the main college, takes the form of linear wings structured around key external spaces. Within the low-lying brick wings is: nursery, foundation and junior school classrooms; communal break-out spaces; specialist art, science, drama and music provision; a library; and pastoral, administrative and overnight accommodation – punctuated by the taller lanterns of the sports and assembly halls.
Page\Park with Ian White Associates Landscape Architects were appointed to develop a design framework for the future development of the Sparken Hill site. The aim of the framework was to protect and enhance the existing educational assets and heritage qualities of the site whilst allowing the school to respond to contemporary teaching and learning needs. The design framework identified the Sparken Hill Farmhouse site as a possible location for relocation of the Junior School: physically separate and distinct from the main college but proximate, supporting a strong campus community and allowing sharing of resources and infrastructure.
The proposed building is generally single storey and has been designed to sit long and low in the landscape behind the existing hedgerows which form the site boundaries. The string of accommodation relates to the existing stable buildings on the site and the ridges and eaves have been set to maintain a contextual relationship. This strategy has been employed to minimise the visual impact of the development on the approaches from the main road and from the College itself. More prominent in the composition are the lanterns of the assembly hall and sports halls. By mediating the two scales in a controlled manner, the sequence of volumes is assembled to minimise the overall impact of the development in the landscape.
Through analysis of historical precedent and the existing buildings throughout the grounds of Worksop College pertinent concepts, such as the form of the main college building and the notions of agricultural architecture, were incorporated into the proposal. The objective was to ensure that the new Junior School is firmly rooted in its context and making a positive contribution to the wider campus and its heritage setting.