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Bohunt high and low

A comprehensive look at Bohunt School Wokingham, Berkshire, wherein two 'community barns' serve as the base for 68 classrooms and community facilities

Posted by Julian Owen | October 10, 2018 | Bricks & mortar

Bohunt School Wokingham is a new £20m secondary school in Berkshire, designed to accommodate 1500 pupils, delivered by Hampshire-based practice Re-Format for Wokingham Borough Council. A generous layout centres upon two functional and flexible ‘community barns’ geared towards assembly, performance, dining and shared learning. The school is located on the former Arborfield Garrison site, part of a wider regeneration project to provide up to 3,000 new homes.

Completed in 2017 and officially opened by Professor Lord Robert Winston in May this year, the project comprises 68 new classrooms offering “cutting-edge educational and social facilities” and is intended to serve as the anchor of the regenerated community.

The development is to be operated by Bohunt Academy, an education delivery organisation including the “outstanding” Bohunt School in Liphook, Hampshire.

The imposing barns showcase geometrically patterned timber frames with a predominantly glazed frontage, allowing for maximisation of natural light, with spaces offering the flexibility of shared learning, dining, assembly and performance. Natural light extends across the entire design of the development, including the prolific use of skylights.

The three wings connecting the ‘community barns’ act as the spine of the project, with the classrooms providing facilities for science, technology, engineering, math, art and photography, among others.

The school’s internal plan design conjures an immediate sense of space, with the two-storey layout providing generously proportioned corridors, rooms and shared spaces, all of which enjoy the injection of colour and an interactional interior. All common use areas and teaching spaces were constructed to include exposed ceilings and structural frames, delivering high thermal mass.

The site incorporates vast outdoor space in the shape of a north and south courtyard for student relaxation and socialisation, and an amphitheatre for outdoor creative arts performances and learning. Impressive sports facilities complete the school’s landscape, including three floodlit tennis courts, two floodlit netball courts, three full-size rugby and football pitches, and a six-lane athletics track.

Facilities are available for hire by individuals, families, clubs and societies, and the wider community.

The school was a joint project by Atkins - who prepared initial plans and secured planning consent for the project - and Re-Format, who developed the project through the design and construction phases.

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