Client: Galliford Try
Location: Hexham, Northumberland
Construction Value: £37m
OOBE has won a bid alongside Ryder Architecture to develop the landscape masterplan for Hexham Middle School and Queen Elizabeth High School.
Through close community involvement, the landscape strategy provides a comfortable, professional, welcoming and calm site. The character of this mature and sensitive site has been enhanced with an appealing physical and visual setting for the new schools and listed building.
A high quality and legible environment will benefit the community. It will be accessible for all users with increased pedestrian connections across the site. Clear cycling, segregated vehicular circulation and servicing arrangements have also been included.
The creation of new native habitats via soft landscape proposals will encourage biodiversity across the site.
A landscape masterplan providing a range of outdoor spaces to maximise learning and provide areas for play and relaxation
The main objective for the local authority and the school was to create a site that housed both the high school and middle school on the same site, and although they shared external sports and car parking facilities would operate independently.
This included providing separate pedestrian entrances and external play areas for each school and year groups. The site had many challenges including mature and unique tree stock, a steep level change across the site (circa 28m), a listed building and walled garden, a split site divided by a public right of way and the reprovision of the community sports facilities and the existing community garden.
“The design team has balanced the requirements of the school brief, legislation and technical specifications with the absolute desire to retain as many existing mature trees and woodland as possible, as well as restoring the most significant parts of the historic Hydro and Winter Garden. OOBE’s design is respectful of the existing setting and listed buildings. They have designed a calm and welcoming landscape, where two schools operate on one site, in a way that will greatly benefit our pupils and the wider community.”
Graeme Atkins, Executive Headteacher