Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Tan-y-lan

  • Location

    Clase, Swansea

  • Client

    Swansea Council

  • Value

    £10m

  • Completion

    2021

  • Size

    2,320m2

  • Winner

    Integration & Collaborative Working

    Constructing Excellence Wales 2022

Winner of the Constructing Excellence Wales award for Integration and Collaborative Working 2022.

Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Tan-y-lan was formed in 2011. It is a growing school which had outgrown its ageing buildings and small site.

A new plot for the new school was found: an area of open space, previously developed with housing which had been removed in the early 2000s. The site was challenging, due to the level changes, but also came with exciting opportunities due to its elevated position and expansive views to the north.

We worked closely with the client and headteacher to develop a design tailored exactly to the needs of the school.

A single-storey solution was the preference, from an education perspective, and the building was located on the western side of the site – the least sloping part.

The building footprint shape is a direct response to the splays created by the curve of Hill View Crescent. The V-shaped plan allows the building to act as a natural shield to the main playground from prevailing south westerly winds and rain.

The two wings of the building naturally lend themselves to housing the early years and primary age groups, with the main hall linking both at the heart of the school, enabling pupil and community access in a secure manner.

Internally, both wings have generous central breakout areas with direct access from all classrooms. The location of the early years department, kitchen, and plant room within the northern wing allows for easy access for drop off, collection, and servicing without disruption to the areas inhabited by older pupils.

Facing brickwork – a robust, low maintenance material that features prominently in the local area, was chosen as the main façade finish, with accents of coloured glass and projecting brick details. The two classroom wings and hall were designed as simple brick boxes with mono-pitch standing seam roofs, in a less-is-more approach to the building form.

Externally, the level change provided opportunity for landscape features that promote outdoor learning, including a tiered seating area for outdoor assembly, formal and informal games areas, and a growing garden.

A particular challenge for the project was that was that start on site came just as the pandemic struck in spring 2020. The design team, client and contractor were able to build on a strong established relationship to guide the project through the difficult construction stage with minimal issues. In recognition of this, the scheme was presented with the Constructing Excellence Wales award for Integration and Collaborative Working in 2022.

Working with Stride Treglown was a truly collaborative process. From conception, they were on board to provide options and solutions to the school design on quite a difficult site. The scope of the project changed at a late stage. As we had worked together from an early stage, the proposed changes had already been considered and therefore amends to design were relatively straightforward.

Once the contractor (Kier) was on board the collaborative process continued throughout the design stages and throughout the build to handover. Stride Treglown supported putting concept into reality which has resulted in a building that the school staff and pupils are now calling home.

Claire Lewis, School Business Case Development Manager, Swansea Council