Ashton Gate Primary School provides a new annex for junior pupils a short walk from the existing school. The annex is within a three-storey former Victorian tobacco warehouse being used as office space. The building holds important local significance as one of the few remaining warehouse structures. The project had to deliver 16 classrooms and a new school hall despite the limitations on external space.
The building had been extended in the 1990s to the rear and, working with our structural engineers, we designed a hall space within this extension. By removing floor slabs and internal supports we created a double height volume which meant that the former car park opposite the school could be fully utilised for playground space.
Through careful space planning we were able to achieve a layout that worked with the existing building structural grid, made best use of the tall floor to ceiling heights and gave separation between year groups. The rear yard was used for a small playground and a new lift shaft helped solve some of the former factory’s level changes.
The school opened in September 2016 and has been very well received. It was a great challenge to redevelop this building and we feel the design made the best of the opportunities it presented.