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Ian Simpson rethinks Grasmere school

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Ian Simpson Architects has gone back to the drawing board after its ‘radical’ proposals for a school in Grasmere after an appeal was rejected by the planning inspector

It is understood the Manchester-based practice is now working up revised plans for the pod-like primary school in Ambleside featuring more local materials.

The competition-winning scheme, which is the practice first education project, was turned down by Lake District National Park Authority earlier this year and an appeal was also thrown out last month.

However project backer and school governor Reverend Cameron Butland feels they are ‘90 per cent there’ and that the principle of some sort of modern building in the setting had been established.

He said: ‘The vast majority of the design was fine and the inspector made the point that contemporary design in itself is not incompatible with the conservation area. The scheme works brilliantly as a school.

‘There are are some things that need to be altered and the design will evolve to use different materials such as local slate and stone.’

Butland expects a new appliction to be submitted early next year.

The practice saw off Sutherland Hussey and local firm Hanson Marston Mellor to land the £1.5 million job back in November 2008.

The original scheme had a central ‘heart space’, built between three classrooms, with a timber gridshell.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • if people are silly enough to want an up-to-date school, they should go and be educated in the New Mexico desert; fly me to the moon, don't leave me in a olde national theme park.

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