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View: Grid List
Date
2015
Region
UK
Sector
Schools
Budget
£1m - £5m
Themes
Creativity Collaboration
Client
Diocese of Clifton
Location
Swindon, Wiltshire
Size
1,915sqm
Contact
Alex Abbey
Team
Peter Gittins Associates, Smith & Wallwork, Cundall, Goddard Consulting, Beard Construction, Wild Design, Stewart Milne
Awards
Offsite Awards Highly Commended (2016) Structural Timber Awards Finalist (2016)
Press
Building (2016)

For Holy Cross Primary School we used cutting-edge prefabrication methods to deliver an energy efficient and speedily constructed new building.

Holy Cross Primary School

The single storey building with sloping roofs allows all classrooms to have direct access to covered external learning spaces with views over the playing fields. It also ensures internal spaces have excellent natural light and ventilation.

The school is organised by two profiled wings of classrooms connected by a lower central spine containing group rooms and specialist learning areas, top-lit with generous rooflights. The main hall, which follows the same profile as the classrooms, is accessible to the local community for use out of school hours. 

The features of the school which especially excite staff are the spacious reception area and children's entrance, the fact that each class has its own designated outdoor space and the general feeling of openness and light throughout the building. Teachers like the breakout areas and management enjoys the fact that a walk up through the building facilitates a snapshot of the school at work.

Tony McAteer, Headteacher, Holy Cross Primary School

Collaboration

This innovative off-site manufactured school was developed from a Cullinan Studio-led research collaboration with Smith & Wallwork Structural Engineers, Cundall Environmental Engineers and Peter Gittins & Associates Cost Planners, to respond to the Government's challenge to reduce cost and increase speed of delivery for primary school buildings. 

Using our combined experience in creating successful learning environments, we worked with national timber-frame manufacturer Stewart Milne, to develop a kit of structural timber cassettes and laminated timber columns and beams that can be adapted to suit both the particular requirements of a site and the educational aspirations of the building's users.

In 65 years of building I've only ever heard stories from my teams about how difficult it was to work with the architect - so it's great to hear how well you (Cullinan Studio) have done and how smoothly it's gone.

Alan Beard, Chairman of Beard Construction

Creativity

Holy Cross Primary School was the first opportunity to test research model; evolving in response to the brief set by St Joseph's Catholic College Swindon, Holy Cross School, Swindon and the Diocese of Clifton.

The design minimised costs while making elegant, flexible learning environments for teaching. The school is not only compact, energy efficient and easily and speedily constructed, but is also in line with Building Bulletin 99 space standards; not conceding to reduce teaching space by 15% as current guidelines espouse.

The modular timber structural frame is simple to fabricate and erect. A ground bearing slab provides support to the building with quick installation and minimal ground preparation necessary. The lightweight components are fabricated off-site, reducing site traffic and speeding up the construction process.