East were appointed by Southend-on-Sea Council on to design schools extensions in two phases at Thorpe Greenways. The existing building is a 1920’s building that has been expanded throughout the years with ad hoc extensions. The £1.4m project includes 2 new Early Years class bases to extend the Infant school, using a space between the two as a sheltered external play space. The Cross Laminated Timber structure was built in less than a week. The building takes the form of a pavilion, using the windows as a kind of colonnade around the building. A green mesh façade supports plants nurtured by the children, giving the character of a green arbour to the large green space adjacent. The parents are now able to wait here, at a larger social space.
At the north east of the school site a new building provides 5no. classrooms, an activity studio and an outdoor learning space. This two storey building, offers views of the playground. The fire escape creates a playful platform. Situated close to the beautiful Woodland area the school has provided, this building took the form of a ‘log cabin’, timber clad, with the portrait windows giving a singular form to the structure.
The location of the two buildings establishes a clear relationship and sense of belonging with the school through rationalising the open space and play spaces between them, enabling access around the larger extents of the school to be clearer and made easier.
Location: Southend-on-Sea, Essex
Client: Southend-on-Sea Council
Project status: Complete 2015
Photographs by Jason Orton