11th December 2017

vHH completes new-build EFA-funded 9FE Secondary School

Delivering quality public school spaces on a tight budget and challenging site

The Sir Thomas Fremantle School is a 600 place Secondary School including 6th form on a greenfield site in Buckinghamshire. vHH were employed by Kier, who were appointed as contractor for the Design and Build of the school via the EFA framework, to design a sustainable community school providing exemplary teaching facilities, particularly in the areas of sport and ICT. The school’s aspiration is that Sir Thomas Fremantle will become a facility for the community, providing leisure and educational opportunities.

Our design is focused around a welcoming central entrance foyer, creating a vibrant ‘hub’ leading to the main entrance-dining foyer at the heart of the school. Directly from this, the performance and sports halls can be accessed. The foyer opens out to the front and back of the school and a double height space, with a rooflight above, connects it to further community facilities on the first floor and brings natural light into the centre of the building.

The teaching wing is linked through the performance hall and is three storeys high in order to minimise the length of the double sided corridor of classrooms. The upper floors are connected by a gallery with rooflights, creating top-lit open plan break-out areas adjacent to the classrooms and bringing natural ventilation to the centre of the teaching areas.

The contemporary design responds both to the constrained site and budget, but also considers the character of the context, on the edge of agricultural land adjacent to a new business park, and responds appropriately. The use of robust materials with good quality detailing in conjunction with a distinct form will provide the school with a coherent identity.