The Outdoor Learning Project is a five year, phased development master plan for the grounds of a Hampshire Primary School, creating a pond area, worship and reflection area, outdoor amphitheater, raised allotment, woodland walk, garden and dens on a site that used to be bare playgrounds and a field.
This is a key example of Hampshire architects engaging with their local community to advance a set of creative environmental improvements in the country. Pupils from the School have been involved with every aspect of the project, from the initial brainstorming of ideas in a design charette with local landscape architect, Johnny Rath of Fabrik, to measuring out and ordering the materials for the woodland walk.
The School’s brief to Ruth Butler Architects was to integrate core educational subjects on the curriculum into outdoor learning. The project enhances pupil’s learning through creative, enjoyable outdoor spaces, and supports learning through play. The outdoor spaces are used by the School (200 pupils and adults), and wider community groups including Brownie, Guide and Scout troops, Church youth groups, after-school clubs (15 a week), holiday activity schemed (50 children per term break) and from the annexed pre-school.
Ruth Butler Architects has been involved in all aspects of the project, from community engagement, concept design, overseeing fundraising, to volunteer activities, professional design services and contracts management of building works.
The project has featured in the local press, RIBA Winchester Live Work Play exhibition and on the Hampshire County Council website as an example of best working practice in outdoor learning design and development.Location: Hampshire, South East England, UK
Architect: Ruth Butler Architects
Project Name: Outdoor Learning Project, Hampshire Primary School
Photographer: Peter Langdown Photography