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Satellite Architects completes £2.9m Dartmoor school


London-based Satellite Architects has taken the wraps off this £2.9 million specialist school set within South Dartmoor Community College’s campus


The 1,690m² new school will provide specialist skills-based constriction training for 375 pupils aged between 13 and 19.

The need to protect existing trees on the site meant a triangular shaped plan was developed with the school arranged into three main blocks.

The main teaching spaces are in a pair of two-storey spaces while a lower single-storey space along the boundary fence houses the school’s support spaces.

An atrium fills the area in between these main blocks and includes space for assemblies, dining, study and socialising alongside the building’s main circulation.

Atrium School by Satellite Architects

Atrium School by Satellite Architects

Architect’s view

Introducing rhythmic roof forms; the roof is defined by a series of repeating bays, which rise at both ends to­wards the larger adjacent buildings. The building defines a central square in front of the original schoolhouse. The main entrance to the building is at the narrow end of the site, a visually dramatic entry to the Studio, which also provides independent access from the public road.

The interior to Atrium Studio has been designed to provide a robust solution for a learning environment. In addition, as the school’s specialism is construction, informative graphics have been incorporated into the design; students and visitors will see the loading on each structural element and the plan of the school forms the pattern to the stair balustrade. Throughout the building light airy spaces have been created by balancing the exposed structure with splashes of bright colour.

Atrium School by Satellite Architects

Atrium School by Satellite Architects

Project data

Location Dartmoor
Type of project education
Client Atrium Studio School
Architect Satellite Architects
Structural engineer Sands Consultants
M&E consultant SDS Solutions 
Acoustic engineer Hawksmoor Engineering 
Fire Engineer Toga Fire Engineering
Approved Inspector JHAI 
Technical advisor Mott MadDonald 
Main contractor Kier Construction 
Funding Education Funding Agency 
Tender date April 2014 
Start on site date February 2015 
Contract duration 42 weeks completing 
Form of contract and/or procurement SCAPE framework NEC3 Option A 
Completion date December 2015 
Gross internal floor area 1,690m²
Total cost £2,900,000

Atrium School by Satellite Architects

Atrium School by Satellite Architects


Readers' comments (2)

  • Chris Roche

    It's impossible to make a meaningful assessment of a building just on seeing a few photographs but this appears, simple, elegant, and inspriring - all the more worthy as the budget appears modest. Well done to all involved.
    Chris Roche / Founder 11.04

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  • stewart dodd

    Thanks Chris, very kind of you to say so.
    Stewart Dodd, Founder Satellite Architects

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