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    Fleet Velmead Infants School


    Visionary new primary school for renowned architecture patron Hampshire County Council

    Location:Hampshire, United Kingdom
    Size:1,188 m²
    Client:Hampshire County Council
    Awards:Civic Trust Award;
    RIBA National Award;
    RIBA Regional Award;
    Education School Design Award;
    Structural Steel Design Award.

    Located on a wooded site next to a secondary school, Fleet Velmead Infants School was commissioned by Hampshire County Council’s chief architect Colin Stansfield Smith to replace a crumbling Victorian building.

    Rectangular in plan, the new school is organised around the idea of a single oversailing roof, double pitched on either side of a top-lit circulation spine. A row of nine, open-plan classrooms are located on the south side, opening out onto a paved terrace where children can play outside. The main entrance, hall and ancillary spaces on the north side.

    The barn-like structure is simply expressed, revealing the precisely detailed lightweight steel frame, and the insulated metal decking roof. Cellular enclosures rising 4.5m are enclosed on the structural grid lines, with classrooms open to the soffit of the roof to give an airy quality.

    Spatial and lighting conditions complement the different teaching areas. Closest to the circulation spine are top-lit quiet areas with a sense of enclosure and security. Next is group teaching space, lit from both the spine’s roof lights and the wall’s side light. In the classrooms, the south wall is entirely glazed, shaded to prevent excessive heat gain with expressive blue awnings. Made of Teflon-coated PVC, these give the building an appropriately playful character.

    The Council subsequently adopted this model of school for other locations.