Creating a world of learning and play opportunities in this inner city primary school
Part of an ambitious school rebuilding programme by the London Borough of Southwark, Rotherhithe Primary School replaces the existing two form-entry school with a three-form entry primary on the same urban site.
Set in an unusually generous playground, we worked with the council and the school staff to create a school set within its own landscape that would be a safe, vibrant and stimulating environment for the children to learn and play in.
spaces for learning, spaces for playing
Throughout the school, unexpected intimate spaces have been carved out for small group learning, intervention and play, including seating areas under the stairs, both internally and externally. The generous entrance foyer offers an immediate space for welcome, community gatherings and display to celebrate the children’s work.
The result is a rare thing: a large high quality, well-landscaped bespoke school building in a poor area.
Hugh Pearman, RIBA Journal
a school in a garden
The school gardens are a creative haven for the children and is sometimes the only safe outdoor space that they have regular access to. The existing school had creatively programmed its grounds to offer a huge range of outdoor environments for learning, exploration and play, together with a significant number of mature trees, which offset some of the harshness of the surrounding urban environment.
Re-creating this range and quality of outdoor spaces, to actively inspire and nurture the children, and retaining as many trees as possible, quickly became as important as the design and organisation of the internal spaces, and the new school became conceived as ‘school in a garden’.