09. Long life, loose fit
Creating a school that can adapt and evolve in the future
Criteria for good school design
Day to day flexibility
Does the design provide day to day flexibility for different types of learning and teaching?
Is the building able to accommodate different organisational structures or pedagogies over time?
How well does the design allow for future expansion of the school?
Furniture and equipment
Can a good range of layouts be made using the proposed furniture?
Questions to help you meet the criteria
A successful scheme will respond to changing daily needs and accommodate different organisational structures over time. Furniture and equipment will allow easy layout changes.
Our questions to ask about long life loose fit can help you meet the assessment criteria.
A good example
The panel commended the scheme for its robust and rational architecture with inherent flexibility and adaptability. The scheme can include both open plan and subdivided spaces to accommodate a number of group sizes and learning styles.
It has the potential to adapt easily should the school’s educational approach change in the future.
Another good example
The scheme is a refurbishment and extension of an existing building which radically changes the school through the new circulation street which connects the general and specialist learning spaces to the social areas.
The scheme also adds extra classrooms to the existing blocks creating clusters with central open plan spaces. This was commended as an approach which offers flexibility of organisation.