Location: Newquay, Cornwall

Client: joinedupdesignforschools, Sorrell Foundation

Sector: Education, Social Good

Status: 2006

Joinedupdesignforschools explores how good design can improve the quality of life in schools by listening to the voices of the consumers. It inspires pupils by putting them in the driving seat, giving them control and responsibilities as clients. Through this experience, they discover creative and life skills such as problem-solving, teamworking, communication, negotiation and citizenship, all of which engender self- belief and confidence.

Marks Barfield was commissioned by the Sorrell Foundation to contribute to two secondary schools in Newquay, Cornwall. We worked with the client groups of pupils from years 9 and 10, who produced a brief that expressed the need for social spaces in their cramped, poorly maintained school, typical of those built in the 1960s.

The projects developed on very different lines. One school is being helped to realize the building of a pre-fabricated tensile structure based on an existing system in one of its courtyards.

In the other school a flexible, plywood ‘woven wave’ structure was developed which the school could build itself in one of its courtyards and subsequently move if a proposed redevelopment of the school goes ahead. It would be covered in ETFE and is a flexible, self-build solution that could be adapted for use in many other schools throughout the country.