Two cosy woodland rooms made from cedar, with expansive concave roof, a wood burning stove, large windows, skylights for natural light and ventilation and a barn with sliding doors acting as a gatehouse to a woodland area.
(max visitors 30)
Architect tour of building's every 30 mins (11am-1.30pm) max 10 per tour
The school wanted to create a woodland learning space that connected their newly acquired woodland area to their playground. They were keen to create a space that was unique, warm, welcoming and very special. The boundary between the playground and woods marks the border between familiar school territory and the magical, mysterious world beyond.
The architects, Studioweave were approached to lead on the project as they had a proven record of working with young people to create a narrative to develop ideas for spaces. As part of the design process the architects and the school held story writing workshops with the students to help conjure up "a collective narrative" for how the new space could interact with the woodland. It was agreed that the building would act as a important threshold a 'gatehouse', and symbolise the entrance to another world/secret garden."
Architects – Studioweave
The Hackney-based architecture practice led by Je Ahn has a reputation for crafting unusual spaces in rural locations. For a hikers' shelter near a river in Bordeaux it raised a five-sided building with a hooded roof up on stilts, and for an art studio on the west coast of Scotland they suspended a twin-gabled form halfway over a brook.
"Our approach to this project was about more than just designing a new building for the school," the architects said in their statement.
"It was about creating a narrative for the woodland that would open up imaginative ways of engaging with this newly acquired natural asset."
For our school, the architects added sliding doors that can be opened out to let the woodland in or shut to create an enclosed space. A small arched doorway, like a postern gate in a castle door, allows students to come and go when the doors are closed.
Materials in the Building
The frame is made from larch wood with cedar cladding, and birch plywood for the interiors.