Lime Tree Primary School

Manchester City Council
Site Solutions
16 weeks

Full Project Details

Our role: A two-fold mission, not only providing new facilities to accommodate an increase in students, but also helping the school reach its goal of becoming a 'Forest School' – an innovative, educational catalyst for outdoor play and learning, inspiring children through a positive, nature-infused experience.

A positive journey of improvement and change –significant engagement with all stakeholders has kick-started the transformation of Lime Tree Primary to become the Borough’s first Forest School. The design captures this outdoor philosophy with an external 300m² covered breakout area linking the four 350m² learning pavilions, each housing four 60m² classrooms and associated breakout spaces.

Design inspired by nature

During the development of the scheme particular emphasis was placed on making the external space as practical as the internal. In response to this, canopies will form an integral part of the design, providing all-year-round play and teaching areas. External storage has been disguised in the building facade to house the clothing and equipment used for each activity.

Leafy exterior meets sun-soaked interior

Clad in Trespa, showcasing a random cut pattern of various colours, the seamless facade captures the essence of a leaf canopy. Internal spaces are flooded with light from the abundance of curtain walling and roof lights. An intensive external scheme will see the introduction of various features including a grass amphitheatre, new sports pitch and multi-use games area as well as a programme of highways improvements to relieve significant traffic challenges surrounding the school.

Internally, no space is compromised. External circulation has freed the building budget to be spent on the most important elements, including creating central, spacious breakout areas. Clever design has moved the internal partitions away from the traditional right-angled grid to make significant acoustic performance improvements.

Preparing for future growth

An allowance for future expansion is being built in with an extension of services and utilities, and ability to easily add four or eight classrooms with the stand-alone pavilion strategy. This strategy offers a significant advantage, and a client has expressed their interest in rolling it out as a standard solution.

  • Operational a full year ahead of schedule
  • A harmonious blend of indoor and outdoor space
  • Bespoke, nature inspired facade and canopies