AD Architects successfully gained planning permission for a new Woodland Outdoor Classroom which Beechwood Park School formally opened last week. The planning challenge was considerable as the School’s heritage site includes a Grade I Queen Anne House, a further nine Grade II listed structures, plus grounds designed by Capability Brown. Moreover, the local planning authority rightly insisted that a full range of accessibility, emergency and building regulation issues were addressed by the School prior to permission being granted.
In order to meet the School’s tight budget AD worked with Cabinco to adapt one of their standardised timber structures to meet the School’s brief. The School wanted to enhance its provision by creating an elevated outdoor classroom in the woods, to increase interaction with nature under all weather conditions and provide improved observation opportunities for its pupils.
The completed structure is designed to be consistent with the environment and is completely invisible from all the School buildings and approaches. No ecological damage was sustained as a result of the classroom’s construction; the timber structure is located in an existing clearing and uses screw-pile foundations rather than concrete.