education/

oakgrove secondary school

Forms part of the Oakgrove Millennium Community and was constructed in under 12 months on a former landfill site. The steel frame structure has a pre- fabricated timber envelope. The scheme was designed to achieve a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating and included super insulation, rainwater harvesting, solar collectors, and one of the largest ground source heat pump installations in Europe.

The design of Oakgrove School and Leisure Centre presented numerous complex challenges with the provision of a functional educational and leisure facility in a high profile location, balanced with key drivers relating to excellent community access, sustainable design, and an extremely tight construction programme.

The three storey building evolved into a series of cedar clad blocks, punctuated by natural ventilation chimneys and a corridor link running the full length of the facility, parallel to the adjacent road. This corridor, coupled with a curtain walled feature staircase, animates the public facade of the building as the pupils and teachers move between lessons. A substantial canopy on the central pedestrian axis penetrates the public elevation and signposts the main entry points into both the school and the leisure centre. The link corridor, which bridges the canopy on the upper floors, and a series of changeable control points allows the school and leisure centre to operate independently and in parallel, with the school accessing the Sports Hall and changing facilities during the day and the Leisure centre using the spaces in the evening and at weekends.

value: £12.5m

location: Oakgrove, Milton Keynes

client: Milton Keynes Council