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Encouraging a love for the environment

Mellor Primary School

Sarah Wigglesworth Architects for Mellor Primary School, Stockport

This 225m2 extension to a village primary school offers a series of exciting and stimulating spaces that support a pioneering forest school curriculum ; the result of close liaison between client, project partners and the local community.

The building is designed as a ‘tree house in the woods’ – a cluster of pitched roof forms set on a deck extending into the landscape. The dominant material is timber: a robust, low energy and sustainable material that reflects the school’s forest school activities and allowing the building to sit comfortably in its green belt setting. Tree-like glulam frames support not only the deck but also the roofs internally and canopies externally, making visual connections between internal and external spaces.

The extension has allowed the school to expand to single form entry, and contains a new woodland-facing classroom, SEN room and library, outdoor learning and play spaces, an extended hall, a welly and outdoor equipment store and other facilities as well as a straw bale and biodiversity wall that children and parents helped to construct.

The forest school ethos holds that outdoor learning is key to helping children’s resilience, resourcefulness and ability to work together. The building is encouraging a love for the environment, while developing skills and knowledge through close connections to the outdoors. 

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