Burghclere Primary School Landscape
Burghclere Primary School is a small rural school situated in the heart of Burghclere Village in the north of Hampshire. The school dates from 1838 and most of the original buildings remain in use. Following an extension designed by HCC Property Services in 2008, an innovative landscape design was also commissioned.
The inspirations for the design were the school’s special interest in music and the design of a compass rose mounted on one of the school’s Victorian buildings.
The main part of the project is the piano garden, which has a feature bandstand and outdoor classroom. The musical theme is incorporated through the black and white paving design, vertical piano key features in the planting beds and a colourful feature wall mosaic. Musical elements are also repeated at the front of the school, through the inclusion of a flowing steel sculpture based on the musical score of the Victorian nursery rhyme ‘Girls and Boys come out to play’.
A particularly positive element of the garden’s success was the active involvement of pupils in the design process. The pupils prepared plans and drawings expressing their ideas and defined the spaces they would like to develop. They also participated in workshop with the mosaic artist and created the willow tunnel and trellises with the willow sculptor.
- The design is sensitive to the rural character of the area and the Victorian architecture of the original school.
- The piano garden is extensively used for the school’s band concerts and local community events.
- Musical elements effectively project the image of a happy and creative environment.
- The wild garden offers a particularly attractive and flexible teaching space which encourages children’s exploration.
- The design incorporated locally sourced natural materials, such as timber, sand, stone and gravel, achieving a sustainable design solution within a modest budget.
Hampshire County Council
Completed May 2010
Landscape Design Manager