Watson Batty Architects acted as Architect, Lead Consultant and Interior Designer on this new 3-storey, 1200 places secondary school for students aged 11 – 16 along with a stand alone 4 court sports hall, opening for the the academic year in September 2021. Leeds City Council proposed to build the secondary school to part fill a shortfall of 13.75 forms of entry across the Central, Inner East, Inner North and Temple areas of the city with the intention to pass the school onto a free school provider to operate and manage.
The central vision for the development of this site is to provide a high-quality secondary school along with associated sports and landscape facilities which will benefit and serve future generations of children from the local area as well as providing valuable community resources.
To sit well within the context of the surrounding residential buildings, whilst having enough height and scale to create the sense of a civic presence on the site, the proposals for 3 storey building have a flat roof design. This civic presence is built upon in the landscape design proposals with the main pedestrian walkway to the school from Torre Road taking a straight, linear path to the centre of the main school building where the main entrance is located. This approach to the building is enhanced by the gradual climb in elevation as you approach the building (while maintaining gradients suitable for wheelchair users).
The proposed secondary school design has been set around the DfE’s area requirements which include external area requirements. The layout of the secondary school has been designed both to work with the internal spatial sequencing requirements and constraints while also responding to the unique constraints and opportunities of the site.
A key driver for LCC in the design of the school was to maximise the use of the new facilities by the local community. In line with this consideration, a separate and standalone sports hall building is proposed which will contain changing facilities and an activity studio as well as community storage. The provision of a standalone sports block allows manageable and secure zoning for community use without compromising the safeguarding of the main school building.