Coombe Hill Schools


As a result of heavy demand for primary school places in Kingston Potter & Holmes Architects was appointed through competitive tender to design and project manage the construction of two new classrooms within a very tight time limit and budget. The classrooms had to comply to all relevant latest legislation and are used for children with special educational needs.

Potter & Holmes Architects worked with Coombe Hill Primary School to ensure necessary expansion of the school was economical as well as environmentally and functionally sustainable.

When portakabin buildings were offered to the school as a solution to temporary expansion we saw an opportunity to provide a bespoke permanent solution for the same cost with a longer life. The structure of the classrooms is designed to take a second storey at a later date if required and they have the life expectancy of a permanent building but can be fully demounted and relocated if necessary. The classrooms are connected to the existing school buildings and to the playground via a new timber deck.

The buildings have lower running costs than modular units and comply with the latest educational building standards. They achieve U values well beyond current Building Regulations and are built using natural materials including recycled newspaper insulation in the walls.

The brief was to extend the staff facilities and provide a friendly welcome area for parents and children. It also required the entrance to the Infants School to be identifiable as it currently felt like a back door.

The solution is an oak clad timber framed extension to the staff room and reception. The staff are provided with work stations for computers and a planning space for teachers within a large bay window overlooking a private space behind the entrance. The wall on the entrance side of the elevation has been formed in the shape of a continuous curved timber bench under cover providing an additional area for parents and children waiting outside. This leads into a double height space with a fully accessible reception desk, a separate administration suite and Deputy Head’s office. The bespoke reception desk incorporates drawings by pupils of their class animals laser-printed on to formica.



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