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Oval teenies: dRMM’s Four Dwellings Primary School

[School design] Prefabricated engineered timber lends itself to an unusual elliptical layout at dRMM’s Four Dwellings Primary School in Birmingham, part of the BSF framework

T his is dRMM’s Four Dwellings Primary School in Birmingham, part of the city’s BSF framework with LEP Lend Lease (AJ 12.03.09).

Following the architect’s appointment in 2009, the design was developed in collaboration with the school and together they explored organisational principles to foster the creation of a new learning environment.

The plan reworks the classic Victorian model. Paired classrooms surround a central day-lit hall, forming an elliptical plan with clusters of four classrooms served by breakout spaces defined by furniture and display.

Externally the classrooms open onto a canopied paved perimeter, while each cluster has its own localised landscape that extends the learning beyond the classroom walls.

Children chart their progress as they graduate around the school, finally moving up to the first floor for their final two years. Elevated classrooms have a more centralised focus, with horizontal windows that frame the view and are served by a central, top-lit heart space.

The building is composed of a range of materials that both express its timber form of construction and, says the architect, ‘offer delight and interest in contrast to the buildings it replaces’.

AJ Buildings Library

See images and drawings of dRMM’s Four Dwellings Primary School

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