Ladybrook Primary School
July - October 2017
JCT MW 2016;MMD team
Value & scheme:
£93,000; Library remodel and multi-use space
Ladybrook Primary school was constructed using 1970’s SCOLA system building techniques. Its design incorporated a ‘landlocked’ external space in the centre of the main building which was converted into a pupil’s Library/I.T suite in the late 1990’s. It is this modest but challenging space that became dysfunctional and unrepresentative of the schools progressive teaching techniques. It overheated, had poor lighting, décor, finishes and furniture, suffered from noise pollution, was inefficient spatially and had become a de-valued learning environment. The tight but phased delivery programme, a five figure budget and contractors operating in a live environment meant that this modest scheme had very challenging aspects that we overcame successfully to design and deliver this project for the school.
The forward thinking Headteacher allowed us to develop the initial brief beyond the school’s expectations. We identified that the spaces around the existing Library were key to a successful transformation. Therefore the brief was stretched incorporating and facilitating the schools performing arts agenda, but it also allowed the Library to become a multi-use, flexible and fun space that encourages learning.
The Library now has roof window actuators, hoods and blinds to mitigate the overheating. The new full height folding acoustic wall allows the Main Hall and Library to share and ‘borrow’ space mutually, connecting and disconnecting as required. The balustrading and staircase has been modified, incorporating ‘infinity’ glass and bespoke book storage. The new split level floor allows custom made theatre stage floor ‘cassettes’ to be stored, but they slide out when needed to suit the timetable. This split level defines the lower level I.T area, now under rather than on the Mezzanine area. New decoration, lighting, door modifications to extend internal views, the creation of custom seating pods, storage and the incorporation of a ‘reward and play’ slide from the Mezzanine, defines the sentiment of learning through play that this unusual scheme carries and completes the transformation.