13th October 2014
The new school in Telford was built to the highest environmental green standards and has been awarded a BREEAM excellent rating. Natural products were used where possible, with a lot of timber materials being used throughout. The plant displays were another way of incorpoarating natural products into this environmentally friendly building.
A main design feature of the new school was making the inside of the building round whilst the outside of the building is square. We put forward a planting scheme that complimented the buildings circular interior and used tall circular 'Circo'plant containers throughout the School.
From L- R; Ficus Benjamina Braided stem / Dracaena Lemon Lime
Exposed concrete design feature
Another interior design feature was "exposed concrete pillars" that show all of their bumps and imperfections. Exposed concrete is a popular design feature for modern interiors and was first used by the architect Le Corbusier in the 1950s. To continue this design feature the fiberglass plant containers that we used are made from a mould of a handmade ceramic container, which also shows all of the bumps and imperfections of the original ceramic container.
Main Reception - 5m Bamboo tree
A feature of the outside of the building was tall circular timber clad pillars. As you walk towards the building your attention is taken skywards.
This was the inspiration for the 5 metre tall Bamboo tree that we used just inside the main Reception.
When to use Live or Artificial plants
The live interior plants that we use are tropical plants and require a minimum temperature of 15 degrees. The Schools main Reception is a very lofty space and during winter weekends and holiday periods the temperature could fall below 15 degrees. With this is mind we used an artificial Bamboo tree, the real wooden stems are drilled then realistic artificial bamboo foliage is added.
Plants Improve Student Performance
When the building was opened the Principal explained his vision for the new school building 'The internal design was specifically used to try and enhance the pupils' ability to learn.'
Plants have been scientifically proven to improve students performance in spelling mathematics and science. There also seems to be unanimous agreement among students and teachers that plants in the classrooms improved their appearance and 'ambience'.
To read the full scientific report click here.
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