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|Abingdon, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom
|Brick Award, Best Education Building
Abingdon School was founded in the 12th century and is one of the oldest schools in the UK. Set in Oxfordshire, its campus includes several beautifully crafted red brick and tile Victorian buildings.
The school wanted to radically improve its outdated science facilities to accommodate the increasing demands for science education amongst its growing cohort.
The Yang Science Centre makes a significant contribution to the school’s academic offer and creates new opportunities for engagement with the local and scientific communities. The Science Centre is located at the northern edge of the campus, forming a key gateway entrance to the school’s grounds. Designed using a modular system to provide future flexibility, the centre includes 21 laboratories, offices and support spaces arranged over three levels, with further space for a lecture theatre to be added in the future.
Open-plan accommodation with flexible teaching and study spaces wraps around the internal face of the building to create a visible and welcoming hub of activity for students, faculty, staff and visitors, and contributes to an efficient circulation strategy that can be adapted to suit the school’s daily needs.
The L-shaped scheme creates a new sheltered quadrangle with planting and benches, offering an
outdoor space for informal learning and socialising. An ecology pond runs along the edge of the building creating a ‘living laboratory’ to support students’ scientific learning.
A robust and durable palette of materials features brick and timber. A concrete frame aids thermal mass and natural ventilation, and the lighting strategy has been designed to minimise consumption.