Chatelherault Primary School is a single stream primary school with a nursery and a 24 place Special Education Needs Unit. It replaces a much-loved but dilapidated 1960s school on the same steeply sloping site. The new school was constructed in the playground while the original school continued to operate until June 2006. The design evolved as a response to the sloping site topography and restricted available space adjacent to the existing school.
A split level solution was adopted with an ‘L’ shaped plan formed over two storeys on the street with single storey to the rear. This solution lends a civic presence to the ‘public face’ of the school while the cloistered two sided courtyard forming the external play/teaching area has a reduced scale befitting the pupils. Main teaching spaces link directly to the upper external play areas with staff, community and nursery accommodation located in the lower ‘basement’ level .
To provide flexibility and spill-out space for active lessons, classrooms have an open door policy and are placed in groups of 4 which open on to a shared central flexible space. Quiet rooms are also provided to create more intimate spaces. This has been found to work very well. The SEN unit is located centrally, between other classrooms and close to the shared facilities to encourage integration between pupils from all parts of the school and across age groups. This integration is most apparent in the fully glazed upper floor dining room which doubles as a drama and dance studio with panoramic views out over the Clyde Valley.
As a requirement of the council brief a sustainable design solution was adopted. The school employs a passive environmental design strategy to enhance the environmental performance of the building.
This school was part of the framework agreement which has seen Atkins deliver 13 school designs for primary schools in South Lanarkshire as lead consultant for the contractor Carillion (formerly Mowlem).
Cladding Contractor: Curtis Moore