This project had 8 different build phases running at one time and was extremely complex to service as a result.
New extensions to Merton Infant and Junior School in Basingstoke were proposed as part of the Priority Schools Programme, and delivered with IESE Framework partner Osborne Construction. We developed initial designs produced by Hampshire County Council to create detailed contractor proposals. Our involvement was for RIBA stage 4 onwards including technical delivery and site monitoring. The project involved alterations and extensions to the school to provide eight new classrooms and other teaching accommodation. This included two large new-build classrooms and three extensions. In addition, significant internal works provided upgraded accommodation throughout the schools. The main extensions were constructed using an innovative timber SIP structure which enabled shorter construction timescales.
The complex project comprised 8 different phases of work on an operational school site. This provided considerable construction logistic constraints for the project and careful planning was required to ensure the safety of the school. Given the nature of the build phase we developed off site fabrication designs to help reduce the construction impact on the school. This took the form of innovative timber SIP structural components forming the structure of the large extensions.
The new large Junior school extension is a two-storey flat roof building with smaller single-storey buildings located around the existing junior school. The new teaching block is designed to provide improved enclosure at the entrance, and is of a scale reflecting the larger junior school buildings.
The large Infant school extension is single-storey and steps down a slight slope towards the north of the site. The new infant teaching block was designed as a series of stepping volumes following the topography of the site. Each level defines a teaching area of the infant school and offers clear legibility of form and purpose.
The choice of materials and detailing reflects the existing materials that are currently at the school. Our approach was to seek a sympathetic relationship between the old and new in order to create lasting harmony on the site.
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