In 2015, we joined forces with Architecture 00. Together, we enjoy collaborating in a shared environment where strategic, urban and social designers, architects, programmers and economists practice design beyond its traditional borders. 00 work with individuals, governments, corporations and communities to solve problems and anticipate change, and to design successful platforms and places. As a studio it aims to reach beyond the design of objects themselves to the social, economic and environmental systems behind them.
Belvue School have commissioned Studio Weave to provide design advice on the redevelopment and expansion of their school, to cater for a total of 160 pupils.
The works offer an opportunity for rationalising the existing buildings to improve connectivity between departments, and the extension creates a new specialist teaching block, as well as additional supporting facilities such as dedicated therapy rooms and a café with servery.
The proposal utilises the eastern edge of the site, creating a new shared entrance that is welcoming and reinforces the school’s identity. A new colonnade around the hall improves circulation and offers opportunities for unifying the existing and new building, whilst reinforcing connections to the playground.
To emphasise the school’s ethos, the building emulates a domestic and welcoming ambiance. To avoid an institutional appearance, it was important to break down the massing of the building, resulting in the articulation of two gables to the north - the ‘House of Art’ and the Caretaker’s House -; and expressing the PV cells on the roof facing south.
Because the school is in full operation and already at capacity, the proposals for expansion need to consider the impacts on the existing school community, and mitigate any disruption to ongoing activities.