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University of Cambridge Primary School

An open and fresh attempt to look at education

Credit: Morley von Sternberg

Marks Barfield Architects for University of Cambridge Primary School/North West Cambridge Development

Contract value: Confidential

GIA: 3,820m²

Considerable research went into the development of this school, taking best practice from across the globe on teaching methods since it is also a training school. The circular form wraps around a central courtyard, which serves as an external assembly room to bring the whole school together. Continuing this sense of sharing across years, a library and art room with ‘shop window’ sit at the entrance, setting the scene of visible teaching and learning. This continues into shared teaching streets, open to each classroom, allowing informal observation by researchers and training teachers.

  • Credit: Morley von Sternberg
  • Credit: Morley von Sternberg
  • Credit: Morley von Sternberg
  • Credit: Morley von Sternberg

Near the entrance are communal areas, including dining and assembly, which the wider community can use out of hours. A clever doubling up of uses throughout allows tight school space standards to be exploited. The building is an open and fresh attempt to look at education, with admirable classrooms and spaces that are clearly enjoyed by their occupants.

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