Bushbury Hill & Oakmeadow Primary Schools

Wolverhampton, UK

These two commissions which are currently under construction to Passivhaus standards are being designed concurrently. Each requires an individual response that fulfils the individual client briefs. Both are being built on the site of an older school. Bushbury Hill is located on a steeply sloping site while Oakmeadow is increasing its size to accommodate two class per year group. The increase in size of the school will require additional land ‘borrowed’ from the adjacent secondary school.

 

The existing woodland and hedgerow habitats are enhanced to provide children with an understanding of flora and fauna and their local landscape. Garden classrooms are designed to support curriculum activities and will give opportunities for science, drama, art, games, relaxation, as well as physical and mental well being.

 

Productive gardens have fruit trees, soft fruits and annuals such as vegetables and herbs offering the opportunity to access to fresh produce, encourage relaxation and to develop useful skills and knowledge.

 

The sites have been planned in consultation with the clients, schools heads, teachers and pupils. The schemes have been designed in accordance with principles of sustainability design, inclusive design, ecological improvement and local distinctiveness.

 

Classes can be organised to maintain habitat areas encouraging custodianship of the natural environment. Outdoor classrooms compliment indoor learning; a quiet orchard classroom enclosed with low hedging will give opportunities for art, fruit picking, storytelling and studying the natural world. All weather sports facilities are provided and in the instance of Oakmeadow covered outdoor classroom terraces will allows lessons to be taken outside.

 

Bushbury School

Innovation

  • Habitat creation
  • Historic hedgerow retention and re-planting
  • Integration and re-use of existing school grounds to form new fields and meadows.

 

Concept

  • Garden classrooms
  • Historic hedgerows and field and meadow patterns
  • Copse planting

 

Oakmeadow School

Innovation

  • Ecological corridors
  • Re-introduction of ancient oaks to site
  • Re-instatement of old meadows from original farmstead

 

Concept

  • Orchard outdoor classrooms
  • Native Orchards
  • Re-instatement locally distinctive native hedgerows

 

Client: Wolverhampton City Council

Architect: Architype

Coe Design