Cranleigh Preparatory School required additional teaching facilities that would blend in with the surrounding fields and countryside. Collaborating with design and build contractors Blue Forest, the new Townsend building provides a healthy, natural learning environment for pupils and staff, as well as improving the circulation and functionality of the wider campus.
The project received planning permission in 2016 and was completed in July 2018, creating eight classrooms for science, design and technology, art and home economics. Located in the heart of the campus, the project provided an opportunity to rethink the way people move around the school.
It includes a new ‘green entrance’ with new accessible routes and gardens; circulation through covered external areas; and ‘cloister’ spaces created by a floating timber canopy that faces onto the wider landscape around the site. These elements combine to minimise climate-controlled corridors, therefore reducing energy requirements and reflecting the school’s outdoor living philosophy.
The building comprises of two offset timber-clad blocks and a vaulted glulam roof, which creates a dramatic external form with a series of internal spaces that are shaped by warm, natural materials.
A generous deck access on the first-floor doubles up as a cricket pavilion. The roof is a series of structural trusses leaning together to accommodate the large span. The ridges on either side of the roof have been manipulated to respond to passive heating requirements, with a projecting south ridge providing solar shading and a raised north ridge offering expansive views to the cricket pitch and natural light.
To see more amazing entries from this year’s WAN Awards please click here.