At TFQ, we have worked closely with many schools across the South West, such as Colyton Grammar, Coombeshead Academy, TAST, Teignmouth Community School and Plympton Academy to name but a few.
But what makes designing buildings for education so special?
We think it boils down to creating spaces which inspire. A school is a centre for learning and when people feel inspired, they are more engaged, enthusiastic and motivated.
We think colour is important. Utilising colour can enhance a child's learning and stimulate their brain in different ways, depending on the colour. There have been countless studies into the effects of colour, for instance; the colour red enhances alertness and excitement, ideal for the use in a sports facility.
Blue however creates calmness and tranquillity, ideal for use in break-out spaces. Whereas yellow stimulates creativity and positivity.
Our design at Ottery St Mary utilises colour to bring excitement into the scheme, making a visually appealing, rememberable place, the bright red powder coated steelwork creates a striking feature against the timber cladding and render, whereas the fenestration features differing pane sizes, along with coloured block panels, to create movement and feeling in an area which could otherwise just be more standard glazing.
However, colour is not the only way to create a building which grabs attention and inspires. The form of the building is just as important. When we think of a school in our mind, we probably think of a cliched traditional building, symmetrical, with some large steps leading up to it and the main entrance central to a large clocktower or something.
Schools aren't like that any more. Schools aspire to be striking, bold and visibly exciting, with interesting shapes and forms to really set it apart and make it a special place to learn.
Our design at Colyton Grammar, one of the highest regarded schools in the country, features a stunning timber clad façade, with conservative use of glazing to really highlight the beautiful shape of the building. The building sits relatively low in its surroundings, so it does not overpower and detract from the other facilities around it. However the bold, sloping roof on the front entrance creates a dramatic elevation, with elements of blue to reference to school's crest, the building is a statement. It shows considered design and gives confidence to students that they are learning in a facility of high quality.
On the inside, it features striking red panelling, to create the excitement and enthusiasm as mentioned earlier. This large, adaptable space was a perfect addition to their facilities, providing a building of the highest quality, standard and finish.
We understand what makes a school special. We've been designing them for 25 years. But not only this, we understand how conducive a functional space, an intuitive layout and open, bright interior is to learning.
We see it as such a privilege to be able to put our mark on these important buildings, where so much learning, developing and growing occurs. We really like to think we design buildings which are perfect for their students and their staff.
If you are a school principle or facilities manager looking for advice on a new development for your school or college, we'd love to help.