Percy Shurmer Primary School, Birmingham

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To transform the external grounds of the school to create environments which would encourage learning and in doing so break up the existing sea of tarmac to better connect the school building to the outdoor space.


The idea of developing the grounds to create a mini-townscape of architectural quality spaces was progressed following discussions with staff and pupils. The school was keen to encourage exploration, risk and innovation through the use of a variety of textured materials and bespoke structures, rather than ‘off-the-shelf’ play equipment. Working closely with Ibstock, three brick structures were developed: an igloo, a bottle hut and a stepped circle, each providing a different sense of enclosure and sound distortion. A new entrance pathway leads to the school square, which is now defined by a moulded brick seating, with punctured holes, which provides a functional and decorative focus for play and relaxation. Together with the brick structures this provides a striking new school entrance and an inspirational environment to both challenge and excite the pupils.