Cambridge School SEN, West London

Landscape as a tool for teaching inner city kids

Maximising external spaces to deliver the Schools’ ethos of inclusivity, creativity and sensory experiences.

Cambridge School SEN, West London
Image Courtesy of Bond Bryan Architects

Located within the heart of White City, the existing school site had limited external spaces with minimal opportunities for pupils to engage with the natural environment. Working closely with the architectural design team – and in line with the School’s key values – the proposals created a framework of flexible ‘green’ spaces adaptable to curriculum needs.

Sensory integration in the school encourages students to better access sensory spaces including natural light, smell, touch and growth. A key element of our design is the integration of the adjoining Phoenix School Farm enabling pupils to learn about food production. The school also boasts a community café that encourages community engagement and offers a potential funding source.

 

Flexible Spaces

Working closely with Bond Bryan Architects, founder director Phil Deacon developed the landscape concept to include greater interaction with the natural environment using building materials and green walls to soften the building footprint. A unique series of roof gardens provide breakout spaces for the surrounding classrooms.

cambridge-landscape-inner-city-deacon-design

 

Surrounded by natural light, these calming courtyard gardens provide a green backdrop for the classrooms. Responding to the need for greater flexibility, the proposals for the roof gardens include: moveable planters and seating; scope for tree planting for dappled shade; and high level wires to support climbing plants, artwork and feature lighting.

Working closely with the school, pupils and architects was vital to our design approach and to encouraging pupils to take ownership of their spaces and engage with the landscape in a meaningful way.

Client:

London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham

Collaborators:

Cambridge School, Bond Bryan Architects