Images released for first completed building designed using the Liverpool Schools Model
Hufton + Crow have taken the first images of the Notre Dame Catholic College in Everton, Liverpool. Designed by Sheppard Robson with structural engineers Cundall, the school welcomed its first students last September but has only just been professionally photographed.
The scheme is the first completed project in a wider development by Liverpool City Council who initiated the Liverpool Schools Investment Programme following the closure of Building Schools for the Future. This latest scheme, called the Liverpool Schools Model, sees the creation of building shells with highly flexible interiors, ensuring that the structures can be easily adapted to suit other uses should requirements change.
Sheppard Robson’s James Jones explains: “There’s a huge amount of pressure on budgets in the schools sector and the challenge for architects is how we respond to this issue whilst also creating buildings and spaces that engage and support students and staff alike. We feel that the architectural and educational ideas that have made Notre Dame a success are a scalable solution that engages with these fundamental issues of school design.”
The Liverpool Schools Model comprises a basic clear-span shell which can be simply reconfigured for future use. Developed at a cost of £1,459 per sq m, the scheme features a number of interior compartments for learning and social spaces that can be altered at a later date if needs be. In its current form, the school includes naturally-lit classrooms counteracted by open-plan study areas and social spaces.
Teaching units are located around a central open zone comprising a performance space, amphitheatre, chapel, and demountable classrooms. Sheppard Robson has taken care to remove physical and visual barriers between students and staff throughout the school to encourage interaction and enable passive supervision. A touch of warmth is added through the use of timber finishes and glulam trusses.
Sheppard Robson is also working on a second school using the Liverpool Schools Model - Archbishop Beck Catholic Sports College - which will open in September 2014. Contractor Willmott Dixon and Sheppard Robson have also been asked to design a third school - Archbishop Blanch School - which will use the same concept. The project has just secured planning approval and due to open in September 2015.
Architect: Sheppard Robson
Client: Liverpool City Council
Contractor: Willmott Dixon Construction Ltd
Structural Engineer: Cundall
Acoustics Consultant: S R L Technical Services Ltd
Public Art: Walter Jack Studio