Ysgol Bro Gwuan

  • Location

    Fishguard

  • Client

    Pembrokshire County Council

  • Value

    £11m

  • Completion

    2017

  • Size

    4,683sqm

  • BREEAM Rating

    Excellent

A secondary school perched on a cliff overlooking Fishguard Bay

In 2015, design commenced to transform Ysgol Bro Gwaun from a deteriorating collection of 1950s buildings into a cohesive, accessible school.

Our client’s strategy lay with improving the facilities on site to create an enhanced learning and teaching environment which would raise standards and the aspirations of pupils.

Originally briefed with full refurbishment, a reduced area requirement determined a part new build to provide better value. The new block replaces everything but the main performance hall, sports hall, dining and DT facilities. It provides teaching accommodation for 525 pupils aged 11 to 16, including dedicated art, music, drama and science areas.

In addition to the standard teaching accommodation, the building contains a community facility and a satellite unit for Portfield Special School.

Perched against the Preseli Hills, the building footprint follows the contours of the surrounding landscape. Its angled form and centrally located entrance welcomes visitors and the building’s position allows for future expansion to the west.

Tasked with a live site, the new build was located so pupils could clearly distinguish between construction site and school, providing little disruption to their education.

The new building features PV coverage on the roof, and has been designed with natural ventilation in mind. Facing brickwork matches the existing building in colour and texture and a light-touch, glazed link provides a connection back to the existing building.

Internally, pupils are encouraged to take inspiration from the surrounding views. Stunning vistas to the north are maximised through key spaces, including the double height library and art rooms.

An entry point to Britain for the Southern Irish, Ysgol Bro Gwaun is now a meeting point for a socially and linguistically diverse community. Coming alive after school hours, its performance hall is a popular venue for local events and the school shares its site with the town’s leisure centre.