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Farnborough School and Technology College is based on Clifton Estate, on the south-west outskirts of Nottingham. The project is a complete new-build to accommodate 1050 pupils, ages 11-16. Two recently built buildings on the site - the Sports Centre and the Year 7 base - will be retained, to provide a wide range of facilities for the pupils and the local community
The project has received planning permission and is now at the detailed design stage, ready to start on site in July 2012. The project will be built in two phases: in phase 1, the new school will be built at the back of the site, taking advantage of beautiful views and a very green setting; in phase 2, the existing school near the road will be demolished and the area will be landscaped with extra sports pitches and a flood-lit MUGA.
The building has a linear form based around a double sided corridor. This maximizes the number of teaching spaces as well as giving maximum flexibility for future change. The classroom depth and therefore building planning is based on a single sided naturally ventilated strategy.
The linear form wraps around to form two open sided east facing courtyards creating the external learning and social spaces. The west face is a stepped linear form with an elevated area to give emphasis to the main entrance.
The form is two storeys in height with a flat roof to minimize its impact in the open countryside and observe guidance from the Planning Department during some early consultation.
The dominant language is one of two storey brick walls with a simple pattern of punched windows. Punched windows rather than ribbon windows have been chosen to give a more residential scale which along with the choice of more varied brick colour will ensure that it is in empathy with its countryside setting. The punched windows also seek to create a more vertical emphasis in each elevational plane.
Render and cladding panels are used to give emphasis to key areas such as entrances, dining and internal heart spaces and soften hard edges and internal corners. Render is used at the ends of the courtyards on east facing elevations to assist in breaking down the mass of the building when seen from the open countryside to the east.
The character of the building is one of simplicity and elegance with a straightforwardness which reflects the vision for a calm and purposeful learning environment.
A strong sense of place is created by the use of courtyards and by creating an integrity and discipline in the use of materials. This will also enhance the whole school feeling and generate a strong sense of society.