Bishop Hooper Primary School

Shropshire County Council

Project Outline

Bishop Hooper Primary School was created by the amalgamation of Caynham Primary School and Ashford Carbonell Primary School in 2009. The project brief was for a four class primary school for a potential 120 pupils and a nursery to accommodate 30 pupils. The new school replaced the existing school and nursery facilities in Caynham, which did not provide sufficient space for the school.

On Site / Jan. ‘11
Completion / Sept. ‘11
Gross Internal Floor Area
925 sqm
Construction Type
Timber Frame
Total / £2,400,000

There is a lovely feel to the place and we have had some lovely moments already such as the sun shining through the coloured glass panels and making beautiful patterns on the wall while we were singing in assembly.

Kerri Phelps, Head Teacher


Circulation space incorporated into usable flexible hub spaces


High level clerestory windows allow natural light to flow into the heart of the building

2012 Shropshire Building Excellence Awards - Overall Winner

2012 Shropshire Building Excellence Awards - Best Educational Project

Design Response

The layout of the building was driven by a desire to develop the spatial requirements of the school’s brief with a single building section that would run the length of the plan.

All arranged on a single storey, the plan is simple and easily navigated with distinct zones for the Entrance, Key Stage 1 & 2, Early Years & Foundation, Staff & Administration and Community Use.

Orientated on an east-west axis, the rectilinear plan can be split into three strips with all classroom and teaching space to the South, circulation and interactive hub spaces within the centre and all staff and administration facilities located to the North.

The well laid out plan and simple section created a building solution that met the internal environmental requirements of fresh air, adequate daylight and solar gain, whilst maintaining security, a relationship with the external landscape and an aesthetic of architectural merit.

External canopy designed to encourage internal and external learning

Building Form and Appearance

The building has been designed to sit as low as possible within the landscape, to minimise its presence and correlate with the existing surrounding agricultural architecture. Incorporating a lightweight, low maintenance sedum roof, whose natural colours change with each season, has allowed the building to naturally blend into the landscape.

Glazing is used to form the architectural expression. The south façade is predominantly glazed, reflecting the sky and surrounding landscape. The visual transparency helps individuals to orientate themselves through the circulation zone (hub spaces) whilst maintaining a reference with the external landscape. The inclusion of stained glass windows at strategic points throughout the building provides a subtle reference to its denomination as a Church of England School.

The school is wonderful - we can't believe how much space we have both inside and out. The children already seem more creative and have approached me to set up a school magazine, with another group wanting to perform in the hall.

Kerri Phelps, Head Teacher

The canopies and timber frame Glulam structure were made and erected locally. The twin frame system is “an extension” of open panel timber frame and improves U-values and airtightness performance.

The Glulam beams have been left exposed, providing aesthetic value whilst structurally supporting the large-span spaces of the main hall and central hub spaces. Placed on the interior of the building, the Glulam structure avoids penetrating the thermal envelope and keeps the airtight layer intact. This innovative design method is utilised frequently on Architype buildings, and supports our objective of creating super low energy buildings.


Sustainable Design

The external fabric of the building is exceptionally airtight, achieved through a continuous layer of thick insulation and minimal cold bridges. The dense concrete floor, left natural with a high quality finish, absorbs heat on long summer days to reduce overheating.

The single section of the building encourages natural cross-ventilation with openable windows, vents and high-level clerestory windows.

Project Partners

Main Contractor
Thomas Vale Construction
Structural Engineer
Price & Myers
M&E Engineers
E3 Consulting Egineeers
Acoustic Consultant
Ion Acoustics


  • 2012 Shropshire Building Excellence Awards - Overall Winner
  • 2012 Shropshire Building Excellence Awards - Best Educational Project
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