Barton Farm Primary Academy is a new school in Winchester for 420 pupils aged from 4 to 11 years. Located in the heart of Kings Barton, an ongoing development of some 2000 new homes, the school provides a high quality learning environment for the current and future generations of children and families in the local community.

The original site consisted of agricultural land bounded by a public right of way, with a well-established hedgerow and a mature band of trees to the southern boundary. When the whole development is complete the school will be bounded by roads, housing and a public square with nursery and supermarket to its front.

The school is designed to actively engage with ‘the place’ with spaces at the front of the school for both school and the wider community. The design is based on the local rural vernacular which avoids a single form in favour of an assemblage of smaller elements around a central courtyard. The teaching spaces are grouped together in clusters of three classrooms in anticipation of the school having to expand from 2 to 3 Forms of Entry when the housing development comes closer to completion. The school has been carefully planned and orientated to respect its context.

Location: Winchester, Hampshire
Client: Hampshire County Council (HCC) Children’s Services and the University of Winchester Academy Trust
Budget: £10.4m
Area: 2215m2
GIFA Project Team: HCC Property Services: Architects, Interior Design, Landscape Architects, M&E Services, Quantity Surveying, Structural, Civils and Building Inspectors.
Acoustics: 24 Acoustics Ltd. DBK BREEAM consultant
Main Contractor: Willmott Dixon.

Staunton Country Park
Staunton Country Park

Classrooms face south with direct access to outdoor teaching and play areas and these, in turn overlook the line of mature trees along the site’s southern boundary. The pitched roofs to the classrooms follow a simple set of functional requirements; the south-facing element has a 30-degree pitch which is the optimum angle for photovoltaic panels and the north face is set at 60-degrees, the optimum angle to maintain excellent levels of natural light without running the risk of overheating.

The south facade of the classrooms is fully glazed with external canopies providing shelter for outdoor play and solar shading. The pallet of materials is simple, robust and low maintenance with circulation spaces fully glazed to maximise views in and out. Ancillary spaces are clad in timber with metal cladding for teaching spaces, making reference to local form buildings surrounding the site.

Key benefits

  • School design based on sustainable, low energy, fabric-first principles achieving BREEAM Excellent rating with: wild flower green roof; PV’s, natural ventilation; surface water drainage managed on site with porous surfaces; bio-diverse landscape areas in courtyards; and rainwater recycling for flushing wc’s and landscape irrigation.
  • Optimised glazing to give views out to the courtyard and surrounding landscape which affords generous amounts of natural light into the spaces, for safeguarding purposes, improving health and well-being and reducing the buildings energy demand.
  • School design incorporates future planning and infrastructure for a future 1FE expansion and a Teacher Development Facility.