White Cliffs Primary College

Initially Clague were appointed by Faithful + Gould on behalf of Kent County Council to prepare a feasibility study to explore a number of options to provide for the expansion of the existing primary school under the Kent County Council’s Primary Schools programme.

The challenge

The project is to be funded through the Government’s Basic Needs Programme, therefore the proposals needed to respond to tight budgetary and programme constraints.

Whitecliffs Front
Whitecliffs Exterior1

Our solution

The existing school sits on a plateau formed on the hillside above a valley. Flat soft and hard play space is at a premium; therefore the primary concern of the feasibility studies was to investigate how the school could be expanded without reducing the extent of the amenity space available.

The proposed extension provides six additional classrooms, a new nursery, a new kitchen and extension to the school hall, along with associated additional accommodation. The existing playing field sits at a higher level than the existing school, so the proposed building has been used to provide a means of accessing the playing field by using the proposed lift.

The results

The building sits against the backdrop off an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a Local Wildlife Site. This was therefore a major consideration when developing the scheme. The ground floor is finished with facing brickwork to match the existing school, the first floor is clad with Siberian Larch cladding which will weather to a silver grey, reducing its visual impact against the AONB. The proposed building has a green roof which is to be planted with chalk downland grasses and native species to increase the biodiversity value of the site.