haworth tompkins: park view school, birmingham, england haworth tompkins: park view school, birmingham, england
apr 19, 2013

haworth tompkins: park view school, birmingham, england

‘park view school’ by haworth tompkins, birmingham, england

image © ioana marinescu



‘park view secondary school’ is situated in the statistically 3rd most deprived area of birmingham, england. the most populous area in england outside of london, the city is prone to socio-economic disparities in its makeup; however, measures like the building schools for the future program work to provide replicable templates for low-cost infrastructural interventions across the country. the school is located in inner-city alum rock, once home to a large irish population and now predominantly populated by minority asian groups, mainly pakistani immigrants. in recent years, educational test scores have improved dramatically, rising from a 4% passing mark in the 1990’s to a 72% pass in 2011.


architecturally, the school suffered from dangerous levels of overcrowding and an unfortunate lack of daylight in the smattering of brick 1960’s buildings. british practice haworth tompkins was made responsible for the implementation and design of a reimagined masterplan that matched the school’s achievements. the heart of the intervention is a new circulation spine delineated by larch-covered walkways and surrounding a new open-air quadrangle. the disparate architectonic elements are unified by the collegiate-looking courtyard and acts as a shared space to meet, pray, study and dine.  narrow interior corridors have been opened into supervisable, informal learning spaces. a new sports center is flooded with natural light from a tall clerestory and clad in richly grained timber. outside the sports hall is a collaborative marketplace underwritten by make: good, wherein three stalls were created for the express purpose of teaching students entrepreneurial skills as they operate the shops through a school club. the clean-lined, warm wood of the covered walkways and creative additions contribute to an overall aim of ‘de-stilting’ existing building stock in an effort to create an optimal, thoughtfully improved learning environment.   




the new quadrangle is a shared, open-air space for eating, praying, meeting and studying

image © haworth tompkins



the open-air courtyard is delineated by connective covered walkways

image © richard haughton



larch wood battens provide robust cladding to the once stock architectural typology

image © richard haughton



a simple, thoughtful intervention came by way of connective, wood-clad circulation

image © richard haughton



(left): the intervention also allows for daylight to pervade classroom space(right): the new ‘circulation spine’ creates a slew of informal learning and meeting areas

image © richard haughton



interior views of the new 4-court sports hall with an ample clerestory

image © richard haughton



view of the collaborative marketplace run by students

image © richard haughton





project info:



address: park view secondary school, birminghamcompletion: date june 2012project: cost £8marea: 6000m2architect: haworth tompkinsclient: park view secondary schoolcontractor: lend leasestructural engineer: nolan associatesservice engineer: hulley & kirkwood ltdquantity surveyor: wood & weir ltdcdm coordinator: lend leaselandscape architect: fira

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