Race Cottam Associates complete work on showcase Bradford schools
A leading architects practice has completed work on a £12 million landmark scheme to co-locate a special educational needs and mainstream primary school in West Yorkshire. The showcase development, designed by leading architects Race Cottam Associates, has seen the mainstream primary Merlintop, and Phoenix, a special educational needs (SEN) primary school, brought together to create a campus approach and ensure greater pupil integration.
Education design specialists Race Cottam worked closely with governors, head teachers, staff, parents, pupils and other stakeholders to create a design which incorporates sufficient and flexible accommodation for personalised learning, inclusion and extended schools provision. Race Cottam were appointed by Educo, a joint venture between leading UK construction firm Costain and multinational Ferrovial Agromán, to deliver this project, which was funded by Bradford Council and the Government’s Primary Capital Programme. Two further SEN primaries in Bradford also designed by the leading architects practice, Delius and Chellow Heights, have also opened their doors to pupils.
Design elements of the new schools, according to Building Schools for the Future (BSF) guidelines, include more welcoming entrances, wider corridors, more use of natural light, the creation of social spaces and more imaginative use of colour. Hydrotherapy pools are also a key feature of the SEN schools. The SEN school caters for children with severe learning difficulties, physical disabilities, severe autism and more complex needs. The design had to take account of not only circulation and access for disabled people, but also the suitability of workstations, the layout of the school and the whole physical environment.
Simon Noblet, regional director for Race Cottam, said: “We needed to ensure that the design of the buildings allowed for accessibility not just for wheelchair users, but for children with a whole range of disabilities – visual impairment, hearing impairment, autism, etc, all of which have their own implications on building and external space design. Such implications have been addressed through various design features including acoustics, colour contrasts of walls, door and door frames and induction loops."