Trumpington Community College has been officially opened to wide acclaim by the HRH Duke of Gloucester. Against the backdrop of austerity and standardised design, the Avanti Architects led team have delivered a stunning new building that is highly tailored to the needs of the local community and bursting with innovation.
The building is the first new school in Cambridge for 40 years and combines a 750 pupil place secondary school, an autism unit and extended community sports facilities for a three pronged client which includes City of Cambridge Education Foundation, Cambridge City Council and Cambridgeshire County Council. Critical to the design development process has been the active encouragement of the client to undertake collaborative research with the design team and a wide range of stakeholders.
The building is highly innovative in the way it creates an interactive and connected learning environment with a large proportion of unstructured learning space. It may appear like an atrium building surrounded by viewing galleries but this would be a superficial interpretation. The client and Avanti have been at pains to avoid the mistakes of recently built open planned schools. This has been achieved through rigourous testing of building form and spatial organisation. It has culminated in a compact building with outstanding daylight and acoustic qualities which is intimate but also celebrates the collective. The spatial organisation allows a variety of learning activities to take place concurrently within acoustically defined spaces but which are transparent and showcase learning.
Innovative design has also extended to specialist spaces for science and technology, to outdoor learning areas and even down to the digital cat, Cinder, who is part of the public art project. Cinder interacts with pupils and visitors through tablets and the screen in the heart space providing information about the environmental performance of the building and external weather conditions. The passive environmental design approach has also ensured the building achieves BREEAM ‘Excellent’.
Trumpington Community College is an outstanding legacy for the new community being created at the urban extension of Great kneighton. Its civic contribition sets a very high standard for nearby developments coming on stream and for the learners of the future.
College officially opened by the HRH Duke of Gloucester
‘It is lovely to see the children working in a building which is beautifully designed and allows for different types of learning.’
HRH Duke of Gloucester
‘I was delighted at the pupils’ reaction when viewing the school. They are clearly really excited to see it and it’s great to see they really think it’s a school to be proud of.’
Executive principal Andrew Hutchinson
‘This is just a fantastic facility to have, not just for the school but for the community as well.’
Head of school John Jones