Dewjo'c design high-tech education facility
Triangular classrooms and large open learning areas are just two of the unusual features of a new £18.5 million school designed by Dewjo'c and currently being built in Monkseaton, North Tyneside, England.
Planning permission was granted to construct the school, on Seatonville Road in January this year. Due for completion in summer 2009 it will provide 938 places for 13-19 year olds.
Dewjo’c’s design for the flagship school is based on the exemplar principles laid out by the UK government in 2002 and will create a light, modern, twenty-first century facility. The basic design envisages an educational community stacked within a large protective shell.
The design incorporates a number of learning areas for students to study, independent of teachers. The building’s light and airy atmosphere will encourage ‘open’ learning and is a move away from traditional, ‘institutional’ school design. Clear walls and open learning spaces remove barriers created by solid corridors and doors.
Unlike conventional school buildings, the design for Monkseaton High School aims to maximise space within classrooms, providing teaching spaces and learning areas which will be multifunctional and flexible. Spaces can be quickly re-arranged and equipment easily stored away so, for example, a room full of desks and chairs used to teach humanities could quickly become a technical arts space or ICT.
At the heart of the school will be a central space combining private learning areas, a Learning Resource Centre, teaching spaces, social and break out areas as well as a gym and sports facility. Monkseaton High School will be built using highly sustainable materials, methodologies and construction techniques.
Ian Lancastle-Smith, the Dewjo’c director leading the project, said: “This is an exciting and challenging design project that maximises the use of space and encourages teaching and learning in a modern, state-of-the-art environment. We are very much looking forward to seeing the design becoming a reality."
Turning the design into a structural reality involved complex modelling by Parsons Brinckerhoff, which was also responsible for creating sustainable design solutions for the heating, lighting, acoustics and fire engineering systems for the innovative structure.
Mike Lamb, Newcastle-based technical director for Parsons Brinckerhoff, said: “We are proud to be part of this ground breaking project. Dewjo’c’s outstanding design has certainly challenged our technical skills and will set new standards for learning environments across the country. It is especially satisfying for us to be able to contribute to the development of the local community and play a role in helping transform education in the North East.”