BSF school design to add sparkle to Durham
A gem-like structure has been designed by Atkins for a new secondary school specialising in performing arts in Durham.
Shotton Hall Secondary school is one of the sample schools for Durham’s Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme, which recently reached financial close. Earlier this year, Atkins was selected by the consortium Inspired Spaces (led by Carillion), as one of the design consultants to deliver the £500m programme, which will see 40 schools delivered across Durham over the next 10 years in four distinct waves.
“The ambition of Shotton Hall School is to use its success in performing arts to inspire pupils to succeed in all areas of school life,” says Philip Watson, Atkins’ head of education.
“We wanted to capture this enthusiasm and energy to strengthen the identity of the school through our design. The new performing arts facilities have been placed at the front of the school to create a dramatic first impression, inspiring all who enter the campus.”
Set in a mining landscape of white cliffs with contrasting black coal seams, the theatre is clad in metallic shingles to shine and appear gem-like. Once completed, it is intended that the new facilities will be open to the community, providing space for local art and community groups to meet, enabling the school to play a key role in the social regeneration of the local area.
“The new school is set to become an iconic building, which makes a bold statement about education in the area,” adds Philip.
“The extended facilities for the community will provide an opportunity for everyone to be included, offering a sense of regeneration, aspiration and a new belief in education.”
As part of the masterplan, Atkins has also designed Shotton Hall Primary School, which is incorporated onto the same site. It is proposed that the two schools share access to an outdoor performance area as well as a service yard and combined heat and power plant. Atkins has also been appointed to design the new Dene Community School of Technology, one of the remaining schools to be delivered under the first wave of Durham’s BSF programme.
Atkins has been involved in over 1,500 school projects and delivered services to local authorities and private partners in all of the BSF waves.