To create a new low energy Church of England Secondary School and 6th Form College incorporating a technically innovative classroom heat recovery and ventilation system that reduces energy demands and allows fresh air into the classrooms all year round.
The new building is wrapped in a high-quality semi-glazed brickwork skin with intricate detailing, which emphasizes its status as a civic building, while responding to the context and materiality of the local red brick housing. Walls are deeply recessed around dramatically scaled full height windows that frame views towards the Cathedral and other landmarks. To feed the ventilation units, which are built into the inner leaf, the designers have created an external ‘breathing wall’, with an intricate pattern of incoming and outgoing air vents punctuating the brickwork below all classroom windows. Giving the appearance of contemporary dovecotes, the system, which is being used for first time in a UK public building, ensures a fresh, healthy environment for students, as well as cutting energy bills for the school.