Saunders Boston Architects adds a splash of colour to Waterbeach Community Primary School

Saunders Boston Architects’ colourful renovation of Waterbeach Community Primary School, Cambridge, is now complete and open for use to local students.

The Cambridge-based practice, which specialises in the education sector, designed the development with the aim of improving existing facilities and increasing student capacity; widening access to positive learning environments and better education opportunities for the local community.

The new development, delivered alongside Kier for Cambridgeshire County Council, considers the visual impact of colour to create a vibrant atmosphere for learning, which can be seen in rainbow-glazed bricks around the outside of the building and as a continued theme within the school.

Margherita Cesca, Senior Architect at Saunders Boston Architects, said: “A well-designed school is an essential foundation for students’ learning to flourish. When working on Waterbeach Community Primary School, we wanted to create a space that would inspire students and teachers and stimulate a positive learning environment in which to learn and grow together. Colour was extremely important to this design, as it helps to create a motivating atmosphere in which creative and original thinking is encouraged.”

The school now includes a two-storey teaching block extension consisting of 12 classrooms, a group learning room, an improved and extended main entrance, and revised landscape and interior design. In line with the practice’s aim to enhance learning through its design, it has incorporated a ‘Learning Street’ that connects all 12 new classrooms and is naturally lit by two large skylights; allowing important break-out space for students and teachers.

Jane Green, Headteacher at Waterbeach Community Primary School, said: “Ensuring that students feel inspired by their surroundings is of huge importance; it has been brilliant to see Saunders Boston Architects bring this vision to life for us. The rainbow theme running throughout the whole school connects us as a community hub and reflects the bright, ambitious learning attitude of our students.”

As part of Saunders Boston Architects’ continued commitment to education and the community, the practice worked with the school’s students from the outset to develop the project and inspire future architects; inviting them to visualise their dream school through the use of virtual reality (VR).

Margherita Cesca continued: “Working with technologies such as VR and Building Information Modelling (BIM) has become an integral part of our design process at Saunders Boston Architects. The tools allow for innovative planning and enable us to visualise and expertly adapt every element in our designs. We especially enjoyed involving the students in our design process! We look forward to the students of Waterbeach Community Primary School thriving in their new learning environment.”