CLT was specified for the superstructure of Chester Blue Coat CE Primary School, a new build two-form entry primary school in Chester. The design of the school embraces the natural warmth and comfort of CLT with much of the internal wall surface left exposed, making the material integral to the look and feel of the building.
The project which completed in February 2013, was designed by Tweed Nuttall Warburton Architects and erected by specialist timber contractor Eurban. Construction of the new two storey school took place in a phased redevelopment of the existing site in order to maintain the full operational capacities of the existing schools.
CLT was specified primarily for its sustainability credentials combined with its suitability to realise the design of the school’s superstructure. Other considerations were the efficiencies the system brought to the construction programme, its inherent acoustic and airtightness properties and its design flexibility.
To ensure a holistic school environment a ‘teaching street’ at ground level and an overlooking ‘balcony street’ at first floor level link the foundation and infant ground floor teaching spaces to the first floor junior spaces. The balcony was constructed using cantilevered visual grade CLT to avoid structural supports interrupting the 'street' below. A structural glass balustrade has been specified along the length of the balcony to reinforce the unity between the key stage areas.
The feel of the School is welcoming and its combination of exposed wood, glass, colour and natural light result in a bright, airy and warm interior which provides a peaceful, natural and calming environment for the children.
Client: Chester Diocesan Board of Education
Architects: Tweed Nuttall Warburton
Main Contractor: Bardsley Construction
Specialist timber engineer & contractor: Eurban
CLT Manufacturer: Stora Enso Building and Living