Highly Commended for School’s Leading Sustainable Design
27 October 2016 | 2 min read
Hampshire’s Park Community School’s ambitious plan for a phased remodelling across the entire school site is one of the largest capital projects in the county. The multi-million pound project recently completed and was Highly Commended in the Sustainable Buildings category of the Hampshire Countryside Awards 2016 run by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE).
RPS worked closely with Hampshire County Architects to ensure the successful design and delivery of an extensive landscaping programme for the secondary school at the heart of the local community. Effective and positive community engagement was key to the process to ensure that the plans met the requirements and aspirations of the local area
The complex plan included both hard and soft landscaping areas, attractive social spaces and a dedicated smallholding on locally leased land where fruit and vegetables are grown and small livestock is kept. Over 70 new trees were incorporated in the plan – 20 of which were fruit trees selected for the school’s kitchen garden. Alongside the core curriculum students learn agricultural skills and small animal husbandry with fruit and vegetables grown being used in the school kitchens, and occasionally meat from school livestock. Younger students are taught horticulture on an accredited Royal Horticultural Society lesson plan.
A strong geometric design serves to define social, play, sports and teaching areas across the grounds without isolating them from the other areas. Strategic areas of ornamental planting softens the hard landscaping and a significant number of trees across the site are retained including wooded areas around the boundary and Hermitage stream which forms part of a wider pedestrian and cycle network along the stream corridor
The school remained operational throughout the works to deliver the ambitious facility on a substantial brownfield site.