New Classroom opens at Halifax Primary School
Architect Rachel Harmer and Graphics and Visualisation Manager Derek Jackson attended the opening of the recently completed reception classroom at Halifax Primary School Ipswich. The classroom will start to be used as intended after the new term in September and had been transformed into a French café for the opening event. Mr Roger Fern the Chair of Governors cut the ribbons with nominated pupils in attendance.
LSI was invited by the schools head teacher Anna Hennell James and the schools business manager Karen Read to design a new reception class room in spring 2014. The school was originally built in the 1970’s and was built with flexibility in mind, a concrete framed single storey building with classrooms off a central hall and corridor. The school expanded in 2013 to the west, the same structural grid and style was used with the additional of painted timber cladding to pick up and continue the existing timber fascia.
A similar principle is being used for this extension, with the main difference for the design being the level difference of the site, between the school internal level and the playground, which results in a storey and a half to the playground elevation, but gives the benefit of providing the school with some external storage for play equipment.
“We decided that timber cladding would be softer and give a more appropriate scale, rather than continue with the use of block work as the existing school. The lower portion uses facing block work, a dark block has been chosen to reduce the massing appearance from the playground. The north and south elevations use the same glazing panel system as the existing school to give the feeling of continuity and to ensure good daylight levels within the classroom.
Within the class room, wall space is critical for bookshelves etc, however day lighting and views to the playground is also important, albeit the reception age children can be distracted. The east elevation has differing level windows, a lower level window to create an opportunity for a window seat and views out for the children and the higher level windows for views of the sky and mature trees from adult standing level.
The school and the team are pleased with the new classroom, it feels very spacious and light inside and works well externally with the existing school.” Rachel Harmer, Architect