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Tim Groom reveals plans for Macclesfield primary school extension

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Tim Groom Architects has unveiled images of a proposed extension to a primary school in Macclesfield, Cheshire, which will be clad in green tiles

The £450,000 scheme for Marlborough Primary, which is currently at feasibility stage, will house a new after-school area and nursery.

The project, which features a cross-laminated timber structure and a tiled exterior, has been designed in collaboration with ceramicist Sam Andrew and through workshop with staff and pupils.

Speaking about the evolution of the tile design, the founder of the Manchester-based practice Tim Groom said: ‘Architects should take a more active role in manufacturing processes. Doing so brings down the cost of bespoke design elements usually reserved for high-end residential projects.

’The fact that we have been able to make use of such a bespoke design element on a project with a restricted budget proves this.’

A future timescale for the project is not yet known.

Finished prototype tiles on board

Finished prototype tiles on board

The architect’s view

The nursery nestles into the surrounding woodland and is clad in a green glazed ceramic tile. The interior spaces make reference to the woods with exposed birch plywood and a cross-laminated timber structure.

The design takes elements from the primary school’s emblem: a castle split by two rivers that lie close to the school grounds. The building’s massing makes a subtle nod to the castellations from this emblem with voids carved out of the exterior containing timber seating for reflection.

The new landscaping rises and falls either side of a flowing ‘river’ path that splits as it enters the building.

The two interior spaces are informally arranged around a central, flexible ‘indoor-outdoor’ space designed to encourage outdoor play and act as an overspill area. It also lends flexibility to outdoor events with a large pivot door that opens to the outside creating a performance space. When the entrance is open, these doors double up as storage cupboards.

A number of design workshops took place at the school with both pupil and staff participation. They were asked what was lacking from their school and sketched out ideas for the new spaces.

The children were asked how they wanted the outside of the building to look and were tasked with designing a tile for the exterior. This sketch was then modelled digitally and 3D printed. Plaster moulds were taken from the 3D prints, which were given to a local ceramicist for slip casting, glazing and firing.

The use of 3D printing meant that the whole process from sketch concept to finished tile only took two weeks.

Puplis with tiles

Puplis with tiles

Project data

Location Macclesfield
Type of project School extension
Client Marlborough Primary School
Architect Tim Groom Architects
Landscape architect Tim Groom Architects
Start on site date Not yet confirmed
Contract duration Not yet confirmed
Gross internal floor area 350m²
Form of contract and/or procurement Not yet confirmed
Total cost £450,000

Front elevation

Front elevation

Front elevation

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