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East brings larch-clad extension to Kent school

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Architectural practice East has been granted planning permission for this competition-winning proposal for a new building and classroom extension for Sussex Road Primary School in Tonbridge, Kent.

The £1.1 million project was the result of a brief submitted from a 'client team' comprising 10 students, a teacher and the head and deputy head of the school.

Funded by the DfES and Kent County Council, East claims it has created 'a new solution for [the school's] entrance area, which [the client team] felt was unfriendly, too small and not representative of the level of creativity present at the school'.

East said it had put the school's students 'in the driving seat' and created a design that 'brings clarity to what has become an unclear arrangement of buildings and extensions along the existing south elevation'.

The entrance section is clad in a patchwork of larch panels and windows and mirrors with, said East 'a range of transparency and reflectivity'. The larch panels will be decorated with small brandings of oak leaves and bees, the lucky charms of the school.

Construction is due to start in September 2007, and will complete early next year.

by Max Thompson

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