FX Awards 2014 – the winners

Public Sector

Winner: Whitehorse Manor, Pegasus Academy by Hayhurst and Co

Whitehorse Manor, Pegasus Academy by Hayhurst and Co

Photo: Kilian O'Sullivan

Whitehorse Manor Infant and Junior Schools, which form part of the Pegasus Academy Trust, have undergone significant changes and expansion and now comprise a new nursery, six new classrooms, an enlarged hall, and new entrance and administration areas linking the two previously separate schools. Hayhurst and Co has designed the buildings in a Victorian style. The design assimilates a fragmented site with a series of roof-scaled interventions and extensions that thread teaching spaces together through a complex arrangement of existing buildings. The concept of a 'responsive ceiling-scape' informs a site-wide strategy to revitalise the character of the different learning environments and provide a controlled sense of scale to the new development as it weaves through the existing buildings. Conceived as a series of room-scaled extensions, the design assimilates the pitches and proportions of the Victorian school but plays with the scale, repetition and constructional authenticity of the forms. The language of the Victorian school is adapted to shape the character of the newly created spaces. Both inside and out the ceiling-scape is intended to animate and excite a playful and stimulating learning environment, with the scale of the roof pitches growing in response to the age of the children, acting as a shared reference point for children progressing through each year-group. The two schools are fused together with a cathedral-scaled entrance space, where the ply-lined ceiling rises to more than 8m, and leads via amphitheatre stairs to a new library space - a truly inspirational space to learn.

The judges said:
'Enchanting analysis and concept'
'A tightly controlled and highly resolved design, with whimsy and playfulness'

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