Renishaw Foundation Unit

A new build Foundation Unit that replaced dilapidated Nursery and Reception classroom facilities with “joyful” spaces for learning with strong links to the outside.

Andy and Rachel worked on this project whilst at Evans Vettori Architects.

Completed photographs by Tristan Poyser Photography

The new Foundation Unit was commissioned to allow the demolition of a remote and deteriorating original building and construct a new up-to-date facility. The new Foundation Unit forms a fourth edge to enclose the existing central playground and places the nursery and foundation pupils in the heart of the primary school community. 

To ensure the facilities met the requirements of both the local authority and the staff and pupils of the school a number of consultation events were held. Presentations and meetings were held with the local authority and school staff. For the younger building users design workshops took the receptions students around the school grounds to analyse existing positive and negatives spaces. Classroom lessons were held to discuss architects, design and how buildings are built. This was especially important as the school was to remain fully operational throughout the building process. The resulting building links strongly with the built and natural surroundings. Internally, spaces are formed at a variety of scales from large open classrooms to snug reading areas. Bright colours are used throughout the building to define the spaces and give them a sense of fun. The students and teachers input into the design is stamped onto the building for posterity in their hand prints that form the manifestation that runs along the glazing.

The Foundation Unit was completed in December 2010 and was awarded an RIBA East Midlands Award for Architecture in 2011.

From the school Ofsted report, September 2011:

"Reception and Nursery are located in a new facility which is well-designed, spacious and attractive. The outdoor area is excellent and includes a covered area for ‘free-flow’ activities and larger enclosed areas to develop their understanding of the world they live in."