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Hare chalks up a new school for a new town

Nicholas Hare Architects has won planning permission for a school to serve a new community at Chafford Hundred in Thurrock, Essex.

The £8 million building was commissioned by Thurrock Council.

Facilities include a playgroup, primary school and secondary school. The building is to be constructed from white precast concrete panels, with planes of glazing. Classrooms overlook south-facing courtyards and are designed with ventilation chimneys, and south-facing facades are protected from sunlight by overhanging roofs. A central linear space accommodates shared spaces, including a library which is to be used by the public as well as by the school.

Initially the school will provide classroom space for 600 pupils, but shared spaces have been designed to hold 850 pupils and additional classrooms can be easily added on when more funds become available and the local population grows. The project has just started on site and is due for completion in August 2001 in time for the new school year. The team includes Weeks Technical Services as both structural and services engineer, Jackson Building as the main contractor, Leonard Stace as the quantity surveyor and Pearson Landscape Design as landscape architect.

The commission is part of a wave of new projects for Nicholas Hare Architects. The practice has just gained planning consent for Number 1 Bute Square in Cardiff, an 18,000m2 speculative office for client MEPC.The £17 million crescent-shaped building will occupy the northern end of the new boulevard which links the city with Cardiff Bay.

The practice has also completed a £4 million project to transform Cardiff Bay's Oval Basin into a public gathering space (AJ 12.3.98). The basin, once an entrance to the dock system, is at the end of a new boulevard from the city to the north. It has been covered with a timberdecked sloping floor to create a 4200m2 area able to hold up to 10,000 people. Shallow stone steps provide informal seating at either side and the space is lit by a series of 9m high lighting columns.

Nicholas Hare Architects has also been selected by developer Slough Estates to design an office block for the first phase of its £250m business park at the former Royal Aircraft Establishment factory in Farnborough, Hampshire, set to become one of the UK's biggest business parks. Allies & Morrison and Foster and Partners are also to design buildings for the park. Developer Slough Estates has just gained planning permission for the 73ha site and work is due to start early next year.

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