Bliss Charity School

Lendlease | Northamptonshire CC, Nether Heyford

Robothams won a design competition to extend this listed school for Northamptonshire County Council.  The proposals include a staff room, teaching room, toilets and entrance foyer combined with revisions to the layout of the existing school.

The proposals seek to be respectful of The School House in terms their scale and grain by presenting a single storey gable elevation onto Middle Street, while setting back the ancillary accommodation.

The simplicity of the School House fenestration is reflected in the lower windows of the gable elevation.  Three simple single fixed lights with stone heads and cills reflect the tertiary scale of the School House, while the exposed oak truss is expressed with fixed glazing to provide daylight to the classroom below.  A more open fenestration arrangement is used on the North elevation to identify the classroom use, the relationship with the external play area and the pupil entrance.  New vertical stack ventilation has been incorporated into the existing school hall.

Materially the new extension uses the local coursed ashlar ironstone, window and cill dressings of the school house, without being literal.  In order to provide some cover from the worst of the weather a new freestanding glazed canopy is proposed to link the Listed School Building with the new extension and the previous 1960’s entrance.