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Watford Primary School, Watford

S Williams Architects has been commissioned by Berkeley Homes as their RIBA adviser, working with Lifschitz Davidson Sandilands on a two-form entry Primary School as part of a wider residential development in Watford.

The school is located in the North part of the site and is surrounded on three sides by Residential Units.  It is organised over five floors with external terraces and play space.

A ground floor courtyard provides a protected enclosure for Students to circulate prior to the School opening in the morning.  The space will also be used for play and activities and acts as a primary access point into the School.  A nursery with a separate enclosed play space is also provided at ground floor.  The building then stacks up with teaching space, ancillary facilities and external terracing by wide interconnecting stairs and a lift, culminating in a top floor play space.

A podium provides more play space with access to an upper terrace and covered areas provided for the younger pupils.  

A buffer zone is established to the south to the Residential building to the South and will incorporate planted screening.Larger spaces, such as the double height hall is located at ground level with the Learning rescource centre located adjacent to an external terrace on the upper floor.

The plan is efficient and logical and uses the Department for Educations Output Specification and brief as a starting point.

The nature of a vertical school has been considered at length and hence the provision of external play/learning space at every floor. The floor plan has been maximised to ensure that the most vertically compact school has been achieved.

A planning application is due to be submitted mid 2019.