RIBA Stirling Prize-winning practice dRMM has secured planning permission for a timber-built school in Cambridgeshire
The practice, which scooped UK architecture’s biggest prize in 2017 for its revamp of Hastings pier, will create the 700-pupil Wintringham Primary Academy in St Neots.
Cambridge County Council approved the £14 million project, which will form part of developer Urban & Civic’s 162ha extension of the town.
A woodland grove at the centre of the new school building will providing a learning resource that dRMM said ‘embodies the ethos of the academy’.
The practice added that a ‘slender, curved roof’ would offer shade and protection to outdoor learning spaces beneath.
Patrick Usborne, associate at dRMM, said: ‘The new school will create a healthy learning environment for the children and brings nature right into the classroom. The use of engineered timber improves wellbeing, with studies showing that children who learn in a timber classroom have a lower heart rate than those in a standard room.’
Councillor Simon Bywater said: ‘Today marks a significant milestone in the building of a much-needed new primary school for St Neots and is the culmination of many years of working together in partnership to get where we are today.’
Urban & Civic development director Tim Leathes said: ‘We are really pleased with the strong partnership and shared vision which has gone into creating the plans for this inspiring school. It will be a centrepiece within the first phase of development, with safe walk and scoot to school routes through the green corridors coming forward, and playing a huge role in defining the public realm and civic square which will be the heart of the new community.’
Location St. Noets, Cambridgeshire
Type of project Education
Client Morgan Sindall / Cambridgeshire County Council
Landscape architect Bradley Murphy Design
Planning consultant Beacon Planning
Structural engineer Engenuiti (super-structure) and Peter Dann Associates (substructure and civils)
M&E consultant Roger Parker & Associates
Cost consultant Morgan Sindall / Faithful & Gould
Main contractor Morgan Sindall
Completion date September 2020
Gross internal floor area 3,670m²
Total cost £14.2 million