This project shows how unexpected solutions can be found to seemingly intractable problems. The scheme solved a serious problem for the school which had been struggling to run its service from two separate sites. By joining the site owned by the school and the one purchased by Groveworld, the school received a larger site combining its playground with a new school.
In the process we learned about their problems, operating from a substandard multi-storey junior school with no decent outdoor space, and a separate infants’ school across the road. We ended up combining their site with ours, creating a complete new school at ground level and building flats over the classrooms to meet the Council’s housing requirement. The other site, now surplus, was let out to produce additional fund.
Facilities at the school include a large sports and assembly hall, available for community use outside school hours. The 24 flats are screened from the playground by a natural screen of trees and eight have been allocated to “key workers” in addition to those offered as social rented. The key to building flats above the school at St Jude and St Paul’s lies in the orientation of the school and the flats away from each other. The classrooms all have easy access to the playground side on the north while the apartments face south, away from the playground and noisier school activities - and the flats also have a completely separate entrance.
The Department of Education and Employment were also involved in the scheme and were so pleased with the overall result that the development received acknowledgement as an innovative concept which has now been encouraged and implemented across the UK.
Regeneration Awards 2005
Innovation of the year