An ‘inspiring’ £14m purpose-built school in Norfolk for physically disabled and complex needs children has been named “Project of the Year” in the prestigious RICS Awards for the East of England.
It had initially been awarded the best project within the ‘design through innovation’ category, and as a direct result went forward to be judged alongside all other category winners to finally be selected as the East of England’s overall ‘Project of the Year 2019’.
The Project of the Year accolade, presented to a scheme demonstrating outstanding best practice and significant benefit to their local area and wider economy, was won this year by Chapel Green SEN School in Attleborough overcoming the challenge of over 30 other high profile and worthy projects which were also shortlisted.
The school can accommodate up to 110 pupils ranging from three to 19-years-old. It includes passive ventilation, thermal mass and natural daylighting to provide exemplar teaching and learning spaces. Externally, a multi-level play mound provides excitement and stimulation to meet the therapeutic and development needs of the pupils.
The school also features a state-of-the-art hydrotherapy pool, physiotherapy room, medical room and a sensory room. There is even a Life Skills flat which replicates ‘real life’ adult living accommodation to help prepare students for life after education.
Chair of the judging panel for the RICS Awards, East of England, Jonathan Nelson, said: “It's been said that 'Buildings Learn', developing and adapting as society evolves. At Chapel Green SEN School this could not be truer. From applying first principles, good practice and actively putting the students at the forefront of design, the outcome is an inspiring and immersive development.
“As the students develop and learn, so does the building, by offering staged and progressive learning surroundings. The building effortlessly links inside with out and cleverly connects familiarity and the less familiar in a sympathetic way."
James Montgomery, Head of Architecture for NPS Property Consultants, added: “Chapel Green has been designed to meet the specific needs of its pupils and create a learning environment for their diverse needs, overcoming barriers to learning in the process. We have together successfully delivered a project which meets these aspirations. To be judged by our peers across the region as ‘Project of the Year’ is a fantastic achievement and the ultimate professional recognition of a job very well done.”
The successful team behind the project included NPS Property Consultants, Norfolk County Council Children's Services and constructor Morgan Sindall. NPS led the design delivery and coordination, project management and cost managed the successful scheme from conception to completion. This included a great deal of liaison with multiple stakeholders to ensure the project’s vision was fully defined and achieved.
The project now moves forward to compete in the Grand Final of the RICS Awards in London on 4 October 2019.