In 2011 we were appointed by the London Borough of Havering to identify options to expand Branfil Primary School from a two-form entry to three-form entry school. The brief called for demolition of the infant school that was no longer fit for purpose.
Our design extended the existing junior school with a new two-storey wing. The wing makes clever use of underused space near a steep bank, forming a pleasant courtyard and creating a circulation route that, for the first time, avoids backtracking and dead end corridors. Foundation classes and year 1 are located on the ground floor, with a new terrace adjacent to the classrooms providing covered external learning space. The older pupils in years 4-6 are located on the first floor of the new building, while years 2 and 3 occupy the classrooms in the existing building.
The accommodation is a lightweight, cross-laminated timber construction with generous floor to ceiling heights, providing a bright, spacious environment. Internal glazed doors and screens provide transparency to the outdoors and visual connections between spaces. The school has greater opportunities for community use, outdoor dining and teaching, ensuring that all pupils have easy access to a variety of spaces in which to learn and play.