Petersen Williams completes new primary school in Welsh market town
The requirement of the Governors for their new school was that it would provide; ‘children of the next generation and of the locality, with a school which encapsulates all that is expected to ensure a fitting environment for education in the 21st Century’. The school brief included a requirement for a nursery, an assembly hall, learning resource, food technology and creative arts facilities together with areas where teachers can deliver the Foundation Phase ‘learning through play’ initiative. This site is located in the historic town of Brecon within Brecon Beacons National Park. The existing site levels, contours and site views have influenced building form, location and orientation. The development of the school as a community itself was the main influence on the design ethos and features of this school. An ordered hierarchy of the spaces has evolved with larger spaces for groups at the ‘heart’ of the school surrounded by smaller classrooms. All classrooms are arranged chronologically from the entrance and are served from the curved circulation route that runs through the building and access points from the external areas. Adjacent to the main entrance is the circular hall and external courtyard. The circulation route to the nursery and infant classes is an overflow learning area and wraps around the courtyard which is also used as a secure external learning, play or assembly area. Materials used both externally and internally in the project are sympathetic to the site, the surrounding buildings and landscape. Sustainable design elements incorporated in the scheme include a biomass fuelled boiler, grey water harvesting and photovoltaic units. Client feedback indicates that their brief requirements have been met as the innovative layout and design of provides pupils and teachers with an enhanced learning environment and Priory School has become a popular community venue.