Lewis & Hickey were asked to develop proposals for a four-storey, 22,000 sq. ft. extension which was to wrap around the existing brick gym building on the existing campus. The upper three floors were to house ICT, maths, business and media class and seminar rooms, fully equipped with flat screen computers and interactive teaching boards. The ground floor would house most of the staff offices and rooms for individual student support and special needs tuition.
The new facility also accommodates the more vocational subjects of hospitality, incorporating a catering kitchen, hair dressing and beautician rooms, all of which open directly on to the school grounds. The upper classrooms are positioned off a central unobstructed, column-free atrium space which forms a dynamic central spine, naturally lit from above. The atrium balconies function as corridors and are the main circulation routes within the building, all with views back to the main school.
There are a number of sustainable features incorporated within the design including passive ventilation with heat exchangers, biomass heating and photovoltaic panels to convert sunlight into electricity. The building is orientated to maximise solar heat gains in winter while overhangs and brise soleil minimise unwanted heat in summer.