: Department for Education and
2006 - 2008
The challenge posed by the site was primarily one of
bringing together two previously disconnected communities at
Nunsthorpe and Weelsby. The design sought to do this by the siting
of the new school providing a place of destination along axes
originating from both communities.
The school therefore become a natural meeting point along
a route between communities. Unlike most other school sites that
tend to be deprived of land, the challenge at Wintringham was how
to place the school within 42 acres of land in such a way that
provided a sense of genius loci.
The solution, was in part, to position the school as a meeting
place as described, but also that the form of the building should
be explicit in creating a sense of place. This was achieved by the
formation of an open sided court with a cloistered route along two
edges. The external court becomes the natural gathering place from
within the school, connected to major activity spaces such as
sports facilities, dining, library and other community areas.
The architectural treatment was inspired by the Hotel Dieu in the
south of France, where the experience on approach is one of a
well-mannered and restrained use of materials and ornament. This is
done purposefully to amplify the contrast with the more exuberant,
hidden courtyard space which is only revealed on entering the space
and remains a surprise on approach. The outer elevation is
predominantly brickwork with accents of timber, such as the main
hall space through the elevation, in contrast to the more dramatic
stainless steel clad courtyard elevation which changes its
appearance dependant on the light and weather.