Henry Whipple Primary School

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Henry Whipple Primary School


Henry Whipple Primary School
Padstow Road
Tel: 01159 683400

Web: Click here

Project Status - Complete

The works at Henry Whipple Primary School consisted of new build construction and refurbishment works. Phase 1 of the programme was the mobilisation onto the site, enabling works and partial demolition of the existing building. Phase 2 was the construction of a new roof over the existing courtyard, new build at west end of the school and the refurbishment/remodelling of the existing high and low level blocks. The existing halls were also be refurbished during this time.

The Project and Design:

Henry Whipple is a primary school situated in the Bestwood Park area of Nottingham, north of the city centre. The proposals were to undertake demolition of the extreme western section of school and construct a new entrance block, an extension to the foundation unit and enclosure of the central courtyard area to form a covered outdoor space. The remaining sections of the school were also refurbished. The works improved radically the educational provision for the school and created a landmark building that is a real community provider.

The key strategy for delivering the change that was required was to demolish the existing west section of the school (staff and part foundation unit) and construct a new two storey entrance block containing a new reception and family room at the main approach to the school. At the same time as reducing the leggy nature of the current scheme, this condensed the footprint of the new school, creating a more intimate and efficient scheme.

The new block was built at the central point along the west elevation and sits as a bookend to the former central courtyard. From the new approach this transforms the image of the school and provides the signature landmark feel that is desired. The admin and heads room is located in this new entrance building at ground floor level. There is a family room located on the lower floor that sits between the former retaining wall and the new foundation unit. All spaces in this building demand fantastic views both internally toward the heart of the school and across to the east to the entrance approach and foundation play respectively.

From the main entrance building, the pupils emerge into the central split level courtyard space. This is roofed over to create a covered external space for school gatherings and activities giving a new heart to the school. All circulation occurs across this courtyard space and as such extensive remodelling of the existing classroom wings occurred, to remove or reuse the linear corridor space. This is the defining feature of the scheme and delivers the transformational agenda through the creative re-use of an existing space- and furthermore is unique to this school. This is a feature that the staff believes to be of extreme importance in changing the image of the school in the local community.

The remaining sections of the school have also been refurbished or refreshed to tie into the new building with exciting external and internal linking features. Improved pedestrian access onto site and a significant new build that addresses this gives the school real presence in the community. The tighter school plan, rationalisation of the layout and refurbishment of the building has improved radically the educational provision for the school.

Externally, works proposals were focussed around the improvement of the vehicle and pedestrian access to the site and improved outdoor learning and play spaces.

The landscape masterplan involved a more holistic approach to the long term development of the school site. Bite size pieces were delivered to facilitate the new educational vision, with the rest being delivered on a rolling basis by the school through devolved capital and future funding opportunities.

The below proposals are to be delivered as part of this programme of works:

  • Remodelled vehicle entrance compromising replacement of the existing retaining wall with a terraced, splayed arrangement to improve visibility and safety at the junction and the widening of the road up to the disabled and visitor bays.
  • Provision of disabled and visitor car parking close to the new entrance
  • Creation of extended foundation play area that will include 'green' learning areas
  • New pedestrian footpath through a front 'community' garden off Padstow Road
  • New entrance piazza
  • Extended play area to rear of the school compromising sheltered area
  • DDA compliant footpath up to the existing pitch with outdoor learning opportunities along it.
  • Boundary fencing
  • New vehicle access gates with access control
  • Growing gardens

The road to the south of the building was maintained as an access to the staff car park and to the lower car park for the NCC multi-agency organisations.