Ralph Allen School has won planning permission from Bath & North East Somerset local authority.
The project on Claverton Down Road in Bath provided many challenges on a strategic level. At the wider scale, the site chosen by the local authority is within the designated green belt in an ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’ and sits on what is classed as playing field. The building was sited towards the front of the school to achieve a civic presence, making it accessible for both the wider community and school. The block acts as a buffer from the road, protecting the classrooms which will look onto gardens and rolling hill beyond to the south.
The school plans to use the project as an exemplar environmental building, with passive measures in place and live building energy feeds on display. The design is for a building partly embedded in the landscape and accessed directly at gallery level by ramps. A sweet chestnut façade gives way to dark-stained precast panels at the lower level, which express deep cuts in the building’s envelope at key entry points.