William Brookes School
Much Wenlock, Shropshire
Shropshire County Council/ Kier Moss
Completed - 2010
10,500 sqm/ £23m
As a one-school BSF Pathfinder Project, Shropshire County Council commissioned the building of a new-build replacement school for the existing high school on a historically significant site in Much Wenlock. The school grounds are on the site of the original Wenlock Olympic Games (which were the inspiration for the re-launch of the Olympics in 1896), and the design has been carefully developed to facilitate the running of the Wenlock Olympic Games each summer.
The new school design accommodates 1000 students with a sixth-form of 140. The form of the building incorporates a three-storey teaching block with views over play and sports pitches to the south; with cascading volumes housing an arts centre, leisure centre and swimming pool nestling into ‘Windmill Hill’, at the base of the Wenlock Edge escarpment. Each building volume is clad in a differing local material: brick, local stone, timber and black render, providing a dramatic and legible appearance to the building for visitors.
Learning spaces have been designed to follow closely the educational vision of the client, with teaching spaces arrayed around break-out spaces in distinct learning zones. The building was designed to achieve a BREEAM rating of ‘excellent’, and incorporates the innovative use of solar water heating not only for hot water supply but for space heating as well.