This project involved the extension, refurbishment and upgrade of an Edwardian Grade II Listed building and its external areas. The listed status presented an additional challenge to the delivery of the project, but ultimately we were able to deliver a building that combined a respect for the historical context of the existing building with the innovative design and specialist techniques necessary to exceed the requirements for a modern school facility.
The development of Kingsthorpe Grove Primary School was driven by Northamptonshire County Council’s (NCC’s) re-organisation of schools across Northampton from a 3 tier system to 2 tier system. In the case of Kingsthorpe Grove, this meant the development from a 2FE lower school into 470 place 2FE primary school, including a nursery for children aged 3-4, plus an expansion to the existing Designated Special Provision (DSP) for pupils with Autism Spectrum Disorder to cover the whole primary age range. In addition to the expansion was the requirement to upgrade the condition of the existing Grade II listed buildings in order to meet the needs of a 21st century education establishment.
The completed building has been well received and is well used by the community. The new Children’s Centre, converted from a disused out-building is particularly successful and is operating at full capacity. The re-orientation of main entrance of the primary school away from the busy Kingsthorpe Grove road has significantly increased the safety of children arriving and leaving the school and provides a new welcoming, and uplifting entrance space. The DSP facility has been provided with its own vehicle access and drop-off and this allows this enlarged facility to operate smoothly without interrupting the functioning of the main primary school.
We believe that the design of Kingsthorpe Grove beautifully marries the need for modern high standards and energy efficiency with the responsibility to preserve the heritage Listed Buildings have to offer. It is an excellent example of a building which was upgraded to modern standards and achieved high client satisfaction, despite the challenges often associated with work on listed buildings.