Newport School


The designs for this comprehensive school on the outskirts of Newport were never built, but they led directly to a number of later schemes such as the IBM pilot head office at Cosham and the Fred Olsen Amenity Centre, Milwall Docks. Working within tight cost limits imposed by the DES, the design envisaged a vast rectangle (137mx80m) of flexible space covered by a uniform 1.2m deep space frame roof of welded lattice trusses. This roof umbrella combined natural and artificial lighting as well distributing air, power and information. Beneath this constant height deck, the floor levels could be recessed where required to create larger volumes (swimming pool, gymnasium), while classroom layouts could be altered at will by demountable steel partitions. Deep plan teaching areas were not endemic to the scheme, since the system could, create other plan forms with internal courtyards of finger layouts. The heating and cooling system installed in the roof void was designed to respond to these changes of layout. The canopy was extended beyond the glazed walls of the school to form a continuous circulation zone offering protection from the rain and solar shading. The compact plan reduced working distances was more economical to build and preserved the site for outdoor activities.

Area: 11,000 m²