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Sir Harry Smith Community College

This secondary school underwent improvements – part new-build, part refurbishment – to increase its capacity to 1250 students. Its new theatre and sports facilities are open to the community and are shared with an adjacent school, requiring a carefully-considered security strategy. 

The school is delighted with its reconfigured frontage: a one-way vehicular loop around a large green island, that functions as a sustainable drainage swale, with trees and new hedging to screen the boundaries. Pedestrians and cyclists have dedicated paths.  Parking is concentrated to one side, where it is softened by bands of shrubs and trees and does not dominate the approach.  

The expanse of tarmac in the formerly bleak main courtyard was retained for economy, but has been broken into sub-spaces – some of them turfed – by sculpted bands of recycled rubber surface. These linear features can be used for play and informal seating, with lines of trees at their summits providing shade and greenery. Small, hard-to-supervise corners have been designed out or transformed. 

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with: RH Partnership for: Kier Eastern / Cambridgeshire County Council BSF completed: 2013