View from playground
Nursery Extension and Coach House Alterations, Fairstead House School, Newmarket
Newmarket

Located in a prominent position in the centre of the historic town of Newmarket, this unique project at Fairstead House School sought to expand and improve the existing facilities of the site in order to enhance the schools’ reputation as high-achieving and to maintain their competitive edge.

The brief included, in the first instance, the formation of a masterplan, rationalising the existing spaces across the site; providing more coherent and secure circulation and facilitating the ongoing development of the school.

The strategy included the improvement to the existing facilities by providing curriculum-based classrooms including specialist subject teaching in science, art and design technology and modern foreign languages for the older children and a new dedicated nursery to enable the school to accept younger years.

Providing a base to allow the school to expand and cater for younger years to join the school, the new nursery was designed to provide a focal point for the school, giving cohesion to the existing patchwork of buildings scattered across the site.

The grey brickwork and aluminium cladding of the new extension unifies the material palette of the site, with the mix of flint and varying red brick buildings. The new nursery forms three sides of a courtyard, enclosing a new playground with fenestration orientated to provide surveillance of this area, providing a secure environment for both indoor and outdoor learning. A large window which overlooks the outside space has been formed within the existing coach house block, incorporating child-friendly low level sill. A glazed covered walkway connects the old coach house block with the new nursery, uniting the primary circulation through the spaces.

Working within the Newmarket Conservation Area and the unusual location of the school, surrounded by racehorse stables and a horse walk, the work on site required great sensitivity to be completed to a fast paced programme to ensure minimal disruption to both the school and their neighbours.

At the heart of the school, the new nursery classrooms provide space for open plan learning with plenty of light, making for a pleasurable and secure environment for the youngest members of the school community.


Canopy
Canopy View 2
Numbers
Courtyard View
Courtyard View 2
Central Courtyard
View from front playground
Brick and Door detail
Brick and Cladding detail
Classroom View 1
Classroom View 2
Classroom View 3
Stairwell View
Classroom View 4