University project

The final element of the part 2 qualification at CAT was the submission of a major project. Ben chose to research and design an early years education setting which followed the teachings of the Reggio Emilia pedagogy.

This was a nursery school which focused on child lead learning and it’s spaces needed to reflect this. A strong link between the indoor and outdoor spaces was established forming how the building would sit on long, thin, slightly constrained site.  Pavilions would hold the indoor teaching spaces separated by the outdoor play areas. The pavilions would hold two teaching spaces which could be combined by the re-positioning of a central wall. They held wet play spaces, cloakrooms and toilets.

The pavilion buildings are able to take advantage of natural light through the orientation of the site and the design of the roof structure. The buildings can take advantage of north light with the large clear storey windows on the north side of the buildings whilst the south side allows for light to enter whilst shading from direct summer light. Windows also line the sides of the buildings to allow for different kinds of light during the day to allow the light to play within the spaces. This window configuration allows for a more diffused light that is consistent across the internal space to stop glare or light to be to powerful in different parts of the pavilions.

The pavilions take advantage of both passive and active environmental systems to create comfortable and playful learning environments. Each pavilion has the capability of passively lighting and ventilating the spaces using the sites orientation and the designed configuration of the clear storey windows and roof. Heating for the pavilions is provided by the twin active systems of solar thermal collectors on the roof and a ground source heat pump. These combine to provide energy to the underfloor heating. Light for the pavilions is mostly natural as the pavilions configuration allows for light from all angles to be taken advantage of using the floating roofs.

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