Race Cottam Associates design to stimulate inspiration in PFI school
Sir Thomas Wharton Community College, previously named Edlington School, has been designed by leading South Yorkshire architects Race Cottam Associates.
The new school forms part of a £45 million private finance initiative (PFI) project for Doncaster Metropolitan Council and has been designed to respond to the educational aspirations of the school.
Project architect Mark Copley said: “The project has aimed to provide a new secondary school building of high quality and design, creating inspirational education spaces for teachers and pupils, as well as facilities for use by the wider Edlington community."
The layout of the new school has been set out to provide a clear designation between the defined public and private elements of the building as well as enhance the views available over the surrounding countryside and provide the school with a strong visual identity.
A dramatic internal three storey heart space is at the centre of the new design, which creates the ‘heart’ of the school. It is surrounded by specialist teaching spaces, including a learning resource centre, IT suites and a study centre, emphasising the school’s specialist areas of business and enterprise.
Teaching spaces have been arranged over three floors, on two wings that radiate from the centre of the building, and have been designed to provide inviting and stimulating teaching spaces that maximise the available natural day light. The blocks also provide easy access to the landscaped student social spaces created between the two teaching wings.
Visual and Performing Arts and Music teaching facilities have been given equal prominence at the front of the building, linking to an external amphitheatre providing the school with flexible performance spaces easily accessible by visitors. The school’s sports facilities have also been greatly expanded with the inclusion of a fitness suite, activity hall, full size sports hall and outdoor all weather pitches.
Race Cottam were appointed by VINCI PLC, preferred bidder for the PFI project, and construction has been carried out by Norwest Holst, a division of VINCI Construction UK Limited.