Isherwood + Ellis


St. Mary’s Primary School

Sector: Education
Client: Trustees of St. Mary’s Primary School/ Education Authority NI
Location: Banbridge

St Mary’s School is a co–educational primary school situated on a 1.33 hectare site fronting onto Scarva Road leading out of Banbridge town centre. The existing school was constructed in circa 1971 to provide a 16 class base primary school with associated school meals accommodation. The original buildings comprised of 1,750m² and were constructed in a series of blocks situated across and along the slope, each responding to the considerable change in level within the site. This has resulted in a compromised building and site.

The team undertook to develop a site layout that addressed the substantial change in level of the site.  A partial two storey solution was developed which responds to the major change of level.  In doing so the extent of cut and fill and ultimately the amount of excavated materials having to be removed off site is reduced. A series of small individual hard play areas are located around the school to allow direct access from resource areas to the play areas. Selected areas of soft landscaping in various forms will be utilised throughout the site to soften the hard edge of the retainage.

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