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Old Town in Transition Craft School

Part 2 Project 2013
Keith Hannigan
Liverpool John Moores University Liverpool UK
The project follows on from proposals put forward in a masterplan project which created a ‘Transition Town’ moving towards autonomy based in Runcorn Old Town. Within a ‘Transition Town’ it is conceived that a place of learning for all is necessary. This takes the form of a Craft School within the town which aims to supersede the functions the traditional school building and have its primary focus on crafting and the physical object.

Workshops are provided for community use as well as integrated into the school programme. The focus of the school programme itself is on learning by doing, with emphasis on creating and crafting physical objects.

The building itself is situated next to a grade II* listed church and the new building replaces an existing school. Currently the Old Town and waterfront along the Manchester Ship Canal are separated by a 3.8 metre level change. This disconnection will be addressed with the extension of a street running between the church and new school. The school itself will have a ‘lower ground level’, further connecting the Old Town to the waterfront.

The building itself is conceived as a box – the object, with a new sports and assembly facility connected to this on the lower ground level. This object is then crafted and carved on the interior. An atrium forms the heart of the building whilst a series of split level floors spill off this catering for the school and community programme. The atrium is skewed -8 degrees from the box, taking it’s orientation from the street extension with the geometry of the ‘box’ taking its orientation from the church. Double height and courtyard spaces are crafted into the box on various levels.

The exterior is clad in brick around a column and slab concrete frame with prefabricated timber panels fixed between the frame. On the interior concrete, brick and timber show off the buildings crafted credentials. A glulam roof structure splays upwards over the atrium creating a crafted focal point as you ascend through the building.

Keith Hannigan

Tutor(s)
Jamie Scott
2013
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