Dramatic swooping roofs top this new timber-clad building designed by Studio Weave for Belvue School, a secondary school for children aged between 11 and 19 with moderate to severe learning difficulties. Appropriately dubbed The Wooden Classroom, the building was created to help reconnect students with nature and it opens up to an adjacent woodland recently acquired by the school to serve as an educational nature reserve.
Constructed from a low budget originally allocated for a cargotecture school expansion, the 1,600-square-foot The Wooden Classroom comprises a “cozy lounge” informal teaching space and a “sociable kitchen” student-run school cafe next to the woods. “We identified that the boundary between the playground and woods marks the border between familiar school territory and the magical, mysterious world of trees,” said Studio Weave. “This very important threshold, symbolising the entrance to another world, like the gate to the secret garden, or the cupboard to Narnia became a focal point and we consequently designed the woodland classrooms to act as a gatehouse between one world and another.”
The wood-lined interior is flooded with natural light with curved ceilings and clerestory windows. The Wooden Classroom is entirely naturally ventilated. Large window walls frame views of the outdoors and bring nature in. Studio Weave also worked with a forest management specialist for their sensitive approach to the landscape.
Images via Studio Weave