Sheppard Robson has revealed innovative new design solution for the 950-pupil Notre Dame Catholic College in Everton, Liverpool
The £15.3m college was commissioned as part of the Liverpool City Council’s Liverpool Schools Investment Programme. It was designed and built to a budget of £1,459/m2 including full FF&E, significant groundworks and consultant fees.
The design has been created ‘to allow architecturally engaging schools within limited budgets’ and is the first of the kind to be built as part of the investment programme.
The approach, which has been referred to as the Liverpool Schools Model, creates a flexible and economic architectural ‘shell’ in which individual interior components are added to create a mix of learning and social spaces bespoke to the individual school’s requirements.
The result at Notre Dame Catholic College which encompasses a sixth form as well as community music services and extensive landscaping - which was constructed in 56 weeks.
The design allows the school to be adapted and rearranged over time, with the clear-span ‘shell’ concept making it considerably easier to reconfigure the building for another function in the future.
According to Sheppard Robson, the design of the interior spaces is ‘a careful blend of naturally lit traditional classroom spaces and more open, dynamic break-out and study areas’. Cellular teaching spaces occupy three sides of the building encircling a more open central zone containing school specific functions such as performance space, amphitheatre, chapel and demountable classrooms.
James Jones, from Sheppard Robson, said: ‘There’s a huge amount of pressure on budgets in the schools sector and the challenge for architects is how we respond to this issue whilst also creating buildings and spaces that engage and support students and staff alike.
‘We feel that the architectural and educational ideas that have made Notre Dame a success are a scalable solution that engages with these fundamental issues of school design.’
Architects: Sheppard Robson
Type Of Project: School
Contractor: Willmott Dixon Construction Ltd
Structural Engineer: Cundall
Acoustics Consultant: S R L Technical Services Ltd
Public Art: Walter Jack Studio
Project Architect: James Jones (Sheppard Robson’s Manchester office)
Client: Liverpool City Council
Gross internal floor area: 10,462m²
Form of contract and/or procurement: D&B
Total cost: £15.3million