Case Study - Micheldever school
A primary school in Hampshire
Dreadnought Brown Heather roof tiles
Nev Churcher, Hampshire County Council
Gavin Henman, Formatt Milton Architect
Micheldever school is a typical Hampshire brick-and-flint built village primary school, with a fine memorial clock tower. For many years the school buildings consisted of the main building which housed the hall, library and admin functions, with four classrooms housed in very poor ‘temporary’ buildings on the far side of the site.
The small size of the site was a major constraint for this project, since the aim was to provide a number of new buildings and particularly as it was necessary to keep the school fully operational during the entire build. Two old yew trees were a further factor to work around, together with the need to retain a large outdoor area for sports and play. The architecture also needed to be sympathetic to the historic context of the school with its old clock tower and the traditional buildings of this pretty Hampshire village. “While I wanted the old and new to be compatible, I was also keen for them to be clearly differentiated”, commented Nev Churcher, the Hampshire County Council Architect.
The solution was to build the new buildings with a steep 50-55 degree pitch to match the pitch of the original school hall and allow for a good use of space in this limited site. The hall is a full volume, but the three classrooms have pitched roofs on a laminated timber structure that covers two thirds of their area. This gives a comfortable, energy and acoustically efficient volume, with natural light from the north, east and west sides, and good natural ventilation characteristics. The Dreadnought machine-made plain tiles with their regular shape have allowed for very neat verges on the gable ends where oak beams and glass create an attractive modern feature.
“One of my objectives was to make every square meter of the site useful and beautiful” said Nev Churcher, “so my design had to satisfy both aesthetic and practical considerations. I am really happy with the Dreadnought Brown Heather roofs as they provide a clean finish to the contemporary design and their colour blends in well with this rural village setting."