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Avanti scoops planning for Cambridge secondary school

Avanti has won planning for a £17.9 million new school in Cambridge

The AJ100 practice has won planning for the ‘first new secondary school to be built in Cambridge in the last 50 years’.

Trumpington Community College will be built within the emerging Clay Farm development, an urban extension to Cambridge, where 4,000 new homes are planned in the next ten years. The school will provide places for 750 students and is planned to open in September 2015.

Orientated north-south, the building is arranged in two L-shapes around a central space. The school is approached via a large staircase which provides ‘informal social seating’ space and which looks out onto a new pubic square, forming part of the Clay Farm masterplan.

The client did not want to be confined to baseline designs

The BREEAM Excellent school building will be clad in anodised aluminium. An adjoining sports building will be constructed from brick.

The local authority devolved the design and procurement of the school to the City of Cambridge Education Foundation, which meant baseline designs did not have to be used.

Amir Ramezani, director of Avanti Architects, said: ‘[The client] did not want to be confined to guidelines from the building bulletin or baseline designs to dictate the type of school we designed. [Although built within] a public sector budget, the approach is radically different to what is currently going on in terms of the Government’s push towards standardisation and box bashing.’  

He added: ‘Against a background of standardisation and austerity, this new school  shows how – with the support of a considered client – high-quality, bespoke design can still be delivered through effective consultation with end users – and within public sector budget constraints.’

Avanti Trumpington College

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