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Perthcelyn community school, Rhondda-Cynon-Taff
The steeply sloping site between two village communities posed a challenge for Project Architect Kevin Thompson, working with RCT Unitary Authority. The gradient of the site was used to create a split level section and linear plan which follows the natural contours of the site.
Visitors enter the school at the upper level where a spacious gallery, with stairs at each end, overlooks the informal communal circulation zone. The storeys are vertically linked in the middle to create a shared heart to the school. All of the classromms have their own cloakrooms, with access to the playground areas below.
The higher ground to the West was formed into a plateau, following stabilisation works, to locate sports pitches for school and community use.
Mount Airey Special Needs Unit, Haverfordwest
Kevin Thompson designed this primary school extension for Pembrokeshire County Council Education Department. The gently curving plan makes use of passive solar gain in the Spring and Autumn to supplement underfloor heating. External timber louvres control overheating in the Summer.
The extensive use of timber for structural posts, flitch beams, doors and bespoke folding privacy screens, all finished in natural linseed based stain, creates a warm and safe environment for pupils and staff alike. This philosophy is continued externally with the use of rubber safety flooring for play areas, instead of the usual tarmac.
Kingsmead School, Canterbury
Sustainable school ideas competition
This scheme by Kevin Thompson and Chris Evans combines sustainable design principles with an intimate and secure site layout. By arranging the building around a south-facing playground, classrooms benefit from solar gain into glazed conservatories designed as wet play areas. Circulation is north-facing, wrapping around the classroom wing, and contains passive stack 'oast-house' ventilators above cloakrooms and washrooms.
The building design draws upon the local Kentish vernacular and reflects a farm or village cluster in its appearance and aesthetic. Sculptured air intakes connect to large diameter pipes underneath the playground to bring pre-tempered fresh air into the classrooms, drawn through by the natural stack effect.