DKA have designed schools for Bristol since its first project at Chester Park in 1998. Early projects were commissioned directly by Bristol City Council, including Begbrook School and Bannerman Road Primary School. These two schools demonstrate the high levels of controlled daylight and tall airy spaces that DKA have sought to incorporate into their designs ever since. From 2007 projects have been procured through the Bristol Local Education Partnership (LEP) part of Bristol’s Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme, with DKA appointed by Skanska Construction, the LEP’s supply chain partner.
Creating a campus for learning
Brunel Field Primary School was the first project under this system and was located on a vacant plot next to Gloucestershire County Cricket Club. Although a relatively small 210 place school, a compact two-storey solution was adopted due to the highly constrained site. Following completion, additional land was purchased, enabling the school to be extended to 420 places.
Since Brunel Fields DKA have successfully completed many projects working in close partnership with Skanska, providing imaginative and innovative solutions to expanding Bristol schools. Designs are tailored to provide the most effective, economic solution to individual circumstances, whilst considering the health and safety issues associated with working on live school sites.
Easton Primary School and Bridge Farm Primary School required expansion from 420 to 630 places on very constrained sites. In both cases a timber frame solution was adopted to meet tight programmes and budget. At Easton, a compact single storey building was squeezed into a space between the existing buildings and trees. This simple rectangular building with its colourful cladding panels, high ceilings and tall windows has proven a very popular solution. At Bridge Farm, space was also a premium and an innovative two storey solution was adopted to minimise impact on the adjacent ‘orchard’ where the pupils play under the apple trees.
DKA have a highly successful track record working with historic school buildings, and this is further demonstrated in our Bristol schools. At Parson Street Primary School, new reception classrooms and hall replaced poor quality existing facilities. Here pitched roofs echo the existing Victorian school creating an attractive and homely environment for the youngest pupils. At Sea Mills Primary School, infants and junior schools were amalgamated into one of the two old stone buildings, with the other subsequently converted into a Children Centre. Extensions and alterations have been sensitively incorporated to enhance the appearance of the existing buildings without compromising functionality. Ashton Gate Primary School Annex provides expansion of junior school places through the refurbishment of a former Victorian tobacco warehouse. The high classrooms with tall windows are bright and spacious whilst the imposing façade provides impact, interest and character.
Andy became Education Associate within the practice in 2003. He places a strong emphasis on consultation, believing that engagement with stakeholders maximises the potential value of a project to school and community and can also be an educational, inspiring and enjoyable process in itself. This approach results in buildings that are not only visually and spatially exciting, but also finely tuned to users’ needs and aspirations. As a qualified DQI Facilitator, he also runs independent consultation events on projects designed by others.
Jon’s early career experiences included invaluable involvement in working with listed buildings. He has worked across a variety of sectors with a particular emphasis in the education and engineering sectors. Jon can demonstrate personal involvement at all project stages, helping to manage project teams in a collaborative manner. He possess a sound technical knowledge and considers the build process to be an important aspect of architecture.