Pond Meadow Special Needs School, Guildford Building, Photo, News, Design
Pond Meadow Special Needs School, Guildford, England
Guildford Education Development – design by DSDHA Architects in England, UK
Pond Meadow School
RIBA Awards 2009 – South East
DSDHA are delighted to announce that two of our recent projects have been awarded RIBA Awards 2009; Pond Meadow Special Needs School in Guildford and The Møller Centre for Continuing Education & Churchill College Music Centre in Cambridge.
Pond Meadow Special Needs School
Adjacent to Christ’s College and the public green space on Hazel Avenue, Pond Meadow is a Special Needs School catering for children and young adults, aged 2 – 19, with severe, profound and multiple learning difficulties.
The previous Pond Meadow School site lacked any civic presence, hemmed in by neighbouring residential developments, and the school consisted of a number of adjoining and detached single-storey buildings and pre-fab classrooms set around tarmac play areas. The building stock was unsuitable for the specialist needs and equipment necessary in this type of school.
The new single-storey building is designed around the concept of an evolving journey through the building; every classroom is different with its own particular views and spaces. The overall layout is organised around 3 courtyards marking the three zones of the Lower School, Upper School and shared Community areas. Classrooms are located around the perimeter, maximising natural light and ventilation and allowing direct access to secure and sheltered outdoor play areas.
The differing eye levels and differing degrees of special needs of the pupils of all ages have inspired the different levels of the windows. Bespoke artwork manifestations, developed in collaboration with the artist Martin Richman, have been incorporated into the scheme animating the building with colour, whilst reducing the opportunity for pupil distraction within the classrooms.
The roof form undulates long the length of the building reflecting the diverse accommodation below, which includes a hydro-therapy pool, sensory reading area, art studios and specialist ICT provision. These allow the children to appreciate their individual journeys with views of sky and landscape beyond.
The new building provides an inspirational new learning environment, for pupils, staff and the wider community.
"It’s a wonderful building… it feels much more comfortable for the children to move around because there is so much more space, and the light pours in. From the staff’s point of view we can be a lot more creative, it’s a more exciting space to work in and that makes lessons more interesting for the children." Catherine Attridge, Deputy Headteacher
Pond Meadow Special Needs School – Design Team
Client: Surrey County Council
Structural Engineer Adams Kara Taylor
Services Engineer Atelier Ten Ltd
Project Manager Davis Langdon
Cost Manager Davis Langdon
Collaborative Artist Martin Richman
Main Contractor Wates Construction Ltd
Landscape Consultants Townshend Landscape Architects
FF&E Consultant Building Design Partnership
Planning Consultant Alliance Environment & Planning
Acoustic Consultant Sandy Brown Associates
Fire Consultant Fire Design Solutions Ltd
Pond Meadow Special Needs School images / information from DSDHA
Pond Meadow Special Needs School design : DSDHA
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Christ’s College Secondary School – also by DSDHA
Buildings by this architect
Comments / photos for the Pond Meadow Special Needs School England Architecture page welcome