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Curl La Tourelle Head wins go-ahead for Derbyshire special school

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Curl La Tourelle Head has won approval for a new-build special educational needs and disabilities school on the outskirts of Alfreton, Derbyshire

The £13.2 million Alfreton Park Community Special School, which is being backed and funded by Derbyshire County Council, will sit on parkland next to its existing buildings. Most of the original blocks will be demolished although a hydrotherapy pool will be retained and plans have been mooted to build a ‘mini train’ which could run pupils to the facility from the new school.

The single-storey 3,000m² scheme is described by the London-based practice as ‘a family of wings connected by a central circulation link’. Once complete, it will double the school’s capacity.

Work is expected to start on site in May next year.

01000 clth engagement model studies

01000 clth engagement model studies

The architect’s view

Alfreton Park Community Special School is a special educational needs and disabilities all-through school, in which all pupils and staff strive to create a secure, welcoming and inclusive learning environment.

From its raised position on the natural ridge of land running down the centre of the tree-lined park site, the low-lying, contextual building blends into the landscape through following the natural contours of the site and using subtly coloured treated zinc cladding.

The school is planned as a family of wings connected by a central circulation link. A simple and efficient single-storey pitched roof section is used throughout, a generator for elegance in its setting, creating open and light internal spaces for activities ranging from trampolining therapy to general learning.

Each classroom has sheltered play space, and carefully placed internal classroom screens allow consistent views to the tree-lined parkland surrounds.

These design decisions endeavour to keep the school as far from being overbearingly institutionalised as possible.

Plan of alfreton park community special school

Plan of alfreton park community special school

Project data

Location Alfreton Park, Alfreton, Derbyshire, DE55 7AP
Type and sector Education: new-build special educational needs and disabilities school in a park setting
Gross internal area 3,000m²
Value and funding £13.2 million, funded by Derbyshire County Council
Architect Curl La Tourelle Head: Sarah Curl, project director; Clara Garcia Gonzalez, project associate
Landscape architect Wynne-Williams Associates
Structural and civil engineer Price & Myers
Mechanical and electrical engineer Method Consulting
Cost consultant Faithful & Gould
CDM adviser PFB Construction
Form of contract Design and Build
Planning received October 2019
Tender date December 2019
Start on site May 2020 projected
Client Derbyshire County Council


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