After the success of schools designed in the west, VLA have again teamed up with Thierry Bégat (concept architect in France) to prepare the masterplan and first phase of the Greencoast schools complex.
The guiding principles for the design of the school are:
- To create a school that is innovative in its construction technique using lightweight construction, to enable the school to grow and phases to be built with minimum disturbance to the students. This will also allow flexibility as the school develops and rooms change use over time.
- To be Green by design with naturally ventilated and naturally lit buildings. This has created buildings which are one room deep with covered circulation areas giving onto planted courtyards which will serve for play and create educational opportunities.
- The School is organised like a village with a hierarchy of circulation routes; a main ‘street’ running parallel to the entrance north-south which is open on both sides and secondary corridors or ’lanes’. The administration and shared teaching areas: art/ library/ main préau and multipurpose hall are situated along the main street and the classrooms are served by the lanes/ corridors.
- There is a hierarchy of buildings with pitched roofs to the classrooms and administrative/ staff areas and flat roofs to the main street circulation areas and toilet blocks.
- The internal circulation of corridors, stairs and ramps are critical to the flow within the school and the levels are being carefully designed for the whole precint.
- The whole school area will be part of the educational experience where the outside spaces are as important as the indoor spaces creating both shady gardens for quiet play and work and grassed area for sports and running around. The internal courtyards will be protected from direct wind and will have the feel of cloisters.
- The entrance / parking – the parking and vehicular routes onto the site are split between the bus set down , the short term drop off and the long term parking areas. A pedestrian crossing and pavements connect these areas safely to the main entrance. A general north south pedestrian circulation route is provided which will serve the primary school but also connect to the future secondary school. The parking will extend north in the future to service both schools.
- The school is set back from the main Mapou road with playing fields laid out between the school and the road and dense vegetation which will be planted as a buffer.
- The sketchup model gives you a preliminary feel for the scale and relationship over the whole primary school. We work in 3D in parallel to the plans as this helps confirm: the scale and feel of the buildings in their environment; the phasing and relationship with surrounding buildings: the parking and an idea of levels.
To conclude, we have taken up the challenge of the phasing and by applying our guiding principles will provide a unique school for your children at Greencoast.