The practice was asked to prepare concept proposals for a large boarding house development at Shapwick School in Somerset.

Located near the outskirts of the village, on the edge of the Somerset Levels, the school is in a wonderful rural location with distant views of Glastonbury Tor. The main school buildings centre around Shapwick Manor, which is a Grade II* Listed building, including an impressive medieval dovecote.

The proposed development is located on school land opposite the main entrance and consists of two boarding houses with bed spaces for approximately 60 students in total, together with houseparents’ flats, offering flexible accommodation for both boys & girls of different age groups.

In addition, forming part of the overall financial strategy for the scheme, the remaining site area is identified for new housing together with a new school car park.

The aim of the development is to create a sensitive extension to the village with simple, architectural forms using vernacular materials, colours & tones. Carefully integrated landscape planting would further enhance the development within its rural setting providing the opportunity to enhance ecology and biodiversity within and beyond the school.

The practice developed a detailed set of conceptual plans and accompanying statements that formed the basis of a successful pre-application submission to the Local Planning Authority.