March 20, 2023
“Wow, it’s like an oasis!”
We had a brilliant time showing the RIBA judges around Wootton Bassett Infants’ School this week for the South West regional awards shortlist. It was lovely to walk, slide and crouch around the project with them. The head teacher, Alison Pass, was an amazing host, especially when she mentioned how prospective parents have commented “wow, it’s like an oasis!” and a teaching assistant that the classroom is the best she’s ever worked in!
As can be seen from the photos, we managed to get all but one judge to go down the slide. This is part of the deeply integrated architecture and landscape design where levels played a key role as a catalyst for design. We hid under the treehouse library, which is a favourite spot for the pupils to play and where the school’s focus on reading is in evidence in abundance. It felt like they had dressed the library for the visit with “Iggy Pegg, Architect” and “Rosie Revere, Engineer” on the shelf!
It was great to hear comments about the quality of the internal spaces, the views enabled by the location of the buildings and the bridges and balconies came into their own as the winter weather closed in.
In recent post-occupation feedback the school have told us that pupil outcomes and attendance have both improved following the completion of the redevelopment. Also, and perhaps more importantly, that both the pupils and staff are happier.
We’ll be keeping our fingers crossed for the RIBA awards. We feel we’ve had high praise already, but an award would be the cherry on the cake.
March 2, 2023
We’re super-proud to see Wootton Bassett Infants’ School on the front page of the Architects’ Journal (AJ) in their “First Look” section. It has also been shortlisted for a RIBA Regional award.
NVB Architects completes ‘tree house’ primary school near Swindon
Access to the article on AJ may be subject to a paywall.
Photography: Tom Glendinning Photography
February 15, 2023
We’re delighted that Wootton Bassett Infants’ School has been shortlisted for the 2023 RIBA South West Regional Awards.
We look forward to the judges visiting the school to explore the bridges, treehouse library and slide. Hopefully the pupils and staff will sing its praises as well!
We’re especially proud of the collaboration between client, contractor and design team.
Client: Wiltshire Council/Wootton Bassett Infants’ School
Architect: NVB Architects
Landscape Architect: NVB Landscape
Structural Engineer: Hydrock
Services Engineer: Atkins
Quantity Surveyor: Faithful and Gould
Photographer: Tom Glendinning
For more – https://www.nvbarchitects.co.uk/project/wootton-bassett-infants-school/
February 2, 2023
Today, the 2nd February is the UN’s World Wetlands Day highlighting how 35% of the world’s wetlands have disappeared in the last 50 years and ways to reverse this decline.
Government legislation, such as the Environment Act 2021 and Schedule 3 of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010, are increasing the emphasis to create new wetlands as part of most developments. We include them in the majority of our designs as Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) from small wildlife ponds, such as at Wallscourt Farm Academy (see links below), to large surface water flooding and attenuation schemes, such as our masterplan for Selwood Garden Community.
The multiple benefits of wetlands for wildlife, human mental health and the survival of our species, make wetlands the natural choice.
For more information on the day, please follow this link:
Wallscourt Farm Academy:
Selwood Garden Community
Selwood Garden Community Outline Application
Selwood Garden Community (SGC) has now been resubmitted to Mendip District Council for a second round of consultation.
This is a mixed-use development including 1700 homes, employment areas, primary school, local centre, care homes and expansive network of Green Infrastructure.
SGC is highly aspirational prioritising attractive streets, community facilities, active travel, public transport, biodiversity, and local employment to create a vibrant and inclusive suburb of Frome.
This project is unique in the area and would secure 15 years of development under a single masterplan ensuring joined-up thinking between housing sites and providing vital infrastructure for Frome which smaller developments often avoid.
December 13, 2022
Stunning new pictures by @tomglendinningphotography of our project at Wootton Bassett Infants’ School. A perfect example of our holistic approach to architecture and landscape to create outstanding learning environments. We created a new classroom building and separate library linked by a bridge to encourage adventurous young learners. All on a challenging budget. See link below for more.
August 15, 2022
We are delighted to be able to share some initial photographs taken at handover on our new academic hub development for Habs Boys’ School. The completed buildings and landscape are the culmination of work begun in 2016 and we are very pleased to see the school enjoying the benefit of the new facilities. We hope to be able to share professional photographs shortly but in the meantime, follow the link below for more details.
August 11, 2022
NVB Landscape have recently received approval for a planning application and listed building consent for a new garden at Prior Park College, Bath. The site is highly sensitive, being one of the large Georgian houses and landscapes that form Bath’s World Heritage Designation. The space is currently a space at the school that is under-used and therefore ideal to become a space to support and improve the health and wellbeing of the students and staff. It compliments the adjacent building uses, which includes the Health & Wellbeing and Sixth Form Centres.
Three flexible spaces are defined for outdoor learning, socialising and more reflective and quiet conversations. The planting has been designed for biodiversity and particular interest in the academic year. The design is intended to contrast with the heritage setting to add to the storey of the landscape, using traditional timeless materials as well as recycled and locally sourced. There is also a focus on sustainable materials and drainage, including integration of permanent and seasonal springs.
June 16, 2022
At the ISBA Conference in May we gave seeds to the attendees who we have encouraged to plant them at their schools or home and send us photos via Instagram in September. We’ll then choose the winner and send them a prize. In case any haven’t yet sown their seeds, like us, here is some advice to do so.
Tag us in your posts with @nvblandscape and #nvblandscapeseedbomb
WHEN & WHERE – Normally meadow flower seeds are sown in spring and autumn when you can ensure that no frosts or hot sun are likely to damage young tender shoots. Ideally the seeds will be sown on a site that is warmed by sun for at least half of the day. Wildflowers often establish best on thin or fairly poor soil. They are often out competed by weeds in rich loamy soil.
PREPARATION – Wildflower seed bombs are nutrient-rich and give the plants a head start to grow because each seed bomb is a combination of seed, compost and clay. Before using them, all unwanted plants, grass, and weeds have to be removed from the area of planting so that there is bare soil in which the wildflowers can establish. You can use a hoe or hand-tools to clear the planting area back to bare soil or spread a plastic sheet in order to smother any existing weeds and grass. The choice of technique depends upon the time and energy you have for preparing the soil!
HANDLING THE SEED BOMBS – The seed bombs should not be broken. Germination occurs after the clay is permeated with water. Seed bombs that have been scattered should be left untouched once it has rained. The number of seed bombs needed to depend upon your coverage area. A square meter will need about twenty seed bombs while about 5-6 seed bombs will suffice for a small pot. Larger pots will need about 12 or so of them.
HOW TO PLANT
- Check the forecast and choose a few days when it isn’t too hot and sunny, otherwise, the seedbed will dry up right away. As the seedlings begin to grow, it is essential to water them (if it doesn’t rain) at regular intervals to keep the soil moist during germinations and until the seedlings are about 4-6 inches in height. It is often better to water them early in the morning rather than later in the day.
- It is important not to sow the seed bombs too densely. Just gently scatter the seed bombs over the bare soil area ensuring some space has to be given to the seedlings to grow well without strangling one another.
- The seed bombs can flourish in planters. You can fill pots and planters with compost and soil and and grow your wildflower garden in them.
WATERING – Keep the planted area moist with a mild spray throughout the early growth period. If the seedbed looks dried, water it to ensure that the topsoil is moistened. Watering will hasten the germination and growth process.
SPROUTING – If you are regular with your watering then you can begin to see sprouts in a matter of seven to fifteen days or so. However, flowering takes time. Some species will flower in the first year while some will do so only from the second year onwards. If you keep your wildflowers watered and weed-free then soon you will have a beautiful wildflower meadow to enjoy.
June 7, 2022
New facilities at St John’s Marlborough were opened last week giving the school much-needed sports and social space. This development completes the school’s rejuvenation in 2007 which left this area of the site ready for further development, but which was affectionately known as “The Somme”. The main impetus of the project was funding from new housing nearby to which Excalibur Academies Trust increased to enable the construction of a sports hall, 2 games courts, storage building and an outdoor social space.
NVB Architects masterplanned the project and defined the client brief for the sports hall which was delivered by a sports hall specialist contractor, Collinson Construction. The sports hall will allow for greater flexibility of their existing hall addressing in particular the exam season which was impeding the sports curriculum.
NVB Landscape were involved in the planning of the site once the brief for the building was defined to find the best place on the site and maximise the remaining space for outdoor sports and socialising. The site is highly sensitive with a bat roost nearby and being within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, to name but a few.
The head teacher, Ian Tucker, opened the project with many kind words for school community, town, design and construction teams.