St Mary’s School, Swanage

A contemporary, new-build school, relocates 168 pupils from a cramped town centre site in Swanage. The new spacious education facilities include a large sports field and play area, as well as a multi-use sports hall and classrooms. CFW architects have designed the new building to sit comfortably on the site within an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, with a low-profile roofline and green roof.

The curved green sedum roof, locally sourced stone, render walls and a zinc clad hall embed the new building in its context, referencing the vernacular and wider landscape. Particular care has been taken over the building’s composition and material treatment, resulting in a beautiful building that is sympathetic to its surroundings. The green roof blends the roofline into the rolling Dorset landscape and the material palette references the local context. The building’s energy use is kept to a minimum with a highly insulated envelope, efficient services and a large area of PV panels. The pupils enjoy light and airy teaching facilities with clear storey glazing and direct access to covered external classroom areas with the playing fields beyond.