Bitterne Park School

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  • £30 million school rebuild and expansion project
  • Considerable levels challenges
  • Construction under a busy airport flight path

Wynne-Williams Associates worked with contractors, Kier Construction, and architects, Stride Treglown, on this new three and a half storey secondary school building at Bitterne Park School, Southampton.

The £30 million EFA-funded scheme was part of a programme of secondary school expansions in Southampton which saw the school grow from 1,500 to 1,800 pupils. The school continued to occupy their existing building while the new one has been constructed. After occupying the new block, the old building was then demolished to make space for a new all-weather sports pitch. This allowed a clean transition, as well as providing the school with up to date teaching facilities and sports provision.

There were some interesting site constraints that added challenge to the project. The site drops by 12m from south to north. So, our design for the school’s grounds features three terraced levels, with extensive use of retaining walls and steps to provide access. In addition, the site sits under the main flight path into Southampton Airport. This had to be taken on board in both the overall site design and our landscape design. Large tree species or those with spreading canopies could not be used so as not to affect low flying aircraft. The building could not be set on the higher terraced areas located south of the site for the same reason. Trees that fruit had also to be avoided because of concern that this could attract bird species which might create a risk of bird strikes.

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