Design Awards 2011
Bonhill Primary School
Bonhill Primary School is a new 220 place village school, on a brownfield site.
The design was developed following a series of interactive engagement sessions with staff, parents and pupils. The engagement sessions with the pupils were particularly rewarding and the basis of the design concept was generated by a workshop with one of the groups of children. Bonhill is a ring of teaching spaces enclosing a protected external courtyard space.
The simple palette of materials – red sandstone, Siberian larch, white render and glazing – provides a gentle feel to the school whilst referring back to the traditional local materials.
The building is legible with clear public, semi-public and private zones separating reception, management, and teaching areas. School safety and security have been carefully considered to provide easily managed zones within the school environment, in a way that is subtle rather than overt. It has clear circulation routes, and ease of transition from indoors to outdoors maximises the range of learning opportunities: the courtyard can be used for informal dining, teaching and reading activities.
There are individual outdoor play areas for P1-3 and for P4-7 children, but there are no formal barriers which allows for flexibility in use and siblings in different age groups to meet. Different surfaces provide interest and inspiration for imaginative play and there are inlaid playground games patterns. There is a science meadow, wildlife garden and a mixed hedgerow which forms the boundary to the north and east, encouraging biodiversity and providing additional learning opportunities.