Kilhampton Junior and Infant School

  • Client Cornwall Council
  • Location Kilkhampton, Cornwall
  • Completed 2024
  • Cost £1m

Poynton Bradbury Architects were the architects of a major expansion of Kilkhampton School in 2003, and so it was great to be invited back to design their new KS2 junior classroom block as part of Cornwall Council's Schools Basic Needs programme.

The new classrooms replacing a dilapidated former nursery block includes two new KS2 classrooms, four WCs, two storerooms and a plant room. The building has been designed to meet the aspirations of Cornwall Council's 'Carbon Neutral Cornwall Action Plan' to become carbon neutral by 2030. Early stage embodied and operational carbon calculations by Poynton Bradbury Architects, with input from Method Consulting and MBA Consulting led to a decision by the client to commission a glulam timber framed building with solar panels and a hybrid ventilation strategy with heat recovery and air source heat pumps.

The exposed timber frame adds a natural warmth to the bright and airey classrooms, creating a stimulating learning environment for the school community to feel proud of and enjoy spending time in. The entrance to the new block is flanked by feature walls of vibrant glazed brick in the school colours, providing an inviting and playful arrival for pupils and teaching staff.

Solar gain through the tall windows is minimised through the use of a horizontal canopy.
Slot windows provide a connection to the woodland habitat area beyond.
The cloak area is concealed behind a low wall to create a calm and tidy teaching area.
The adjacent thatched covered play area was carefully retained and protected during construction.
The vaulted ceiling provides an acoustic surface that absorbs sound to improve the teaching environment.
Feature yellow and green glazed bricks mark the entrance to the new block.
High levels of natural daylighting and ventilation are achieved with generous ceiling heights providing uplifting spaces.
The use of natural timber lowered the embodied carbon of the construction.
The building sits comfortably in the natural and built landscape, with the new natural clay brick sensitively responding to the existing historic school buildings.

By undertaking carbon modelling for the client at an earlier stage they were better able to make informed decisions on the proposed construction systems

Chris Turner, Director
Kilhampton Junior and Infant School