This pupil referral unit in Wisbech is a new learning base, supporting up to 35 Key Stage 4 students, with a high ratio of staff supervision. Livingston Eyre were involved from the early stages in creating a design that utilises all available space on a very constrained site.
On the public side, classrooms open onto their own decked areas, stepping down to a small garden. Partitions minimise disturbance to adjacent classes. Privacy and shelter are required, so as many as possible of the existing mature trees were retained as a screen, using techniques such as no-dig construction and suspended decking.
The main playground leads directly from the dining room and is designed to be robust for more energetic activities. A net-roofed games court prevents balls from going into the adjacent old people’s home, and the hard materials need minimal maintenance. A Green Roof Shelter acts as an outdoor classroom.
A shady garden to the south, under a big old oak tree, is for supervised, quiet activities. Bird and bat boxes, log piles, and native and pollen-rich plants give year-round educational interest whilst enhancing biodiversity. This approach has enabled the scheme to achieve the maximum available BREEAM ecology credits.
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–with: RH Partnership for: Kier Eastern / Cambridgeshire County Council BSF completed: 2013