Designing a new school on the outskirts of Maidenhead posed significant challenges from the outset. The site was on green belt land, as well as a flood plain. This meant that we would have to look closely at the structural aspects of the design, while creating a school that fitted seamlessly and sensitively into its surroundings. Most importantly, Oldfield Primary School needed to be a welcoming learning environment where children could thrive.
As our designs developed, we presented different options to the local community – allowing parents and nearby residents to have a significant say in the final design. We knew that the building would need to fit in with surrounding villages on the green belt land, and designed it to a domestic scale, using traditional materials.
Oldfield Primary School embodies the idea that a school is not restricted to its buildings. Our in-house landscape team worked hard to encourage outdoor learning, while increasing biodiversity.
Swales, balancing ponds, and permeable paving help manage the risk of floods, and we took the bold step of raising the school building onto stilts so that water could flow underneath.
The result is a school which not only respects its setting, but enriches it – giving children a fulfilling environment in which to learn and grow.