Merstham Park Biophilic School

Client


McAvoy

Architect


Arkilab

Year


2021

Project Type


Education

Status


In Progress

Intro

Natural Dimensions was appointed to design extensive grounds around a ground-breaking new secondary school in Surrey. Natural Dimensions produced full tender documentation with full BIM coordination for a low carbon school set within a new ‘biophilic’ landscape. We also produced a full management plan, and the initial Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment and landscape strategy for planning.

The Design

The landscape proposals are designed to provide an exemplar high quality ‘biophilic’ landscape with a focus on biodiversity and naturalistic design to integrate the school into its sensitive landscape. The landscape design also responds to our extensive planning phase strategies. Importantly, the design is underpinned by the principles of biophilia, which have been introduced to create a strong sensory connection between the school rooms and the outdoor space. The spatial arrangement of the landscape and the planting is designed to evoke natural environments using extensive grasses, perennials, shrubs and trees to provide a tapestry of colour and texture with planting reflecting natural rhythms and seasons. Various spaces surround the school forming a natural envelope with meadows, sensory arrival zones, entrance plazas, woodland, allotments and an orchard. The largest social space is the courtyard which is the green heart of the school and comprises an integrated canopy, outdoor dining, incidental meeting spaces, a stage, podiums and extensive planting adjacent to the building.