The client wished to extend the traditional learning environment out into the wider site, so the JMP-designed RSA Academy at Sandwell will be integrated into the landscape, utilising external spaces to positively contribute to the timetable and the daily activities of the students.
The spaces between the classroom ‘fingers’ become areas for formal outdoor classrooms, supplementing the internal teaching space and contributing to the RSA’s new Opening Minds curriculum. Areas are set aside for the cultivation of plants and vegetables, assisting in the understanding of biological systems, health and nutrition. Produce can be utilised in menus for the canteen and food education. Raised beds allow less mobile students and staff to engage with the ‘allotments’.
The Academy site is characterised by managed meadow grassland and belts of native tree planting create significant new habitats, providing a huge educational resource for the new school. The interface between the students and the natural systems of a developing habitat will constantly be available to enrich the learning week.
Schools, Landscape + Public Realm
John McAslan + Partners, Architect
Davis Langdon LLP, Cost Consultant
Schal, Project Management
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