Open Pavilion, Bilston [2012]

Building Schools for the Future Programme with Project Dandelion and Carillion

open pavilion

"In the early years of the 20th century, Staffordshire LEA was at the forefront of a move away from the traditional 'central hall' school towards a more open 'pavilion' type of plan. The Stonefield school represents something of a 'hybrid', incorporating a number of new ideas regarding health and ventilation in school buildings current at the time, while harking back in the use of elements such as the modified 'central hall' plan." [Bilston High School, Historic Building Assessment and Archaeological Desk-Based Assessment, University of Birmingham, May 2009]

The project involved researching the previous Victorian school with students, asking 'what matters' or what 'matter' the site contains, to build an 'open pavilion' outdoor learning and recreation zone. Work progressed to a paving pattern with formal and informal seating areas, reinterpreting colours, curves, angles and memories of the building. Poetic text was collaboratively shaped from fragments of found signage, conversation snippets and archive material relating to the school grounds, in a copper finish that also begins to subtly connect George Sankey's (of Joseph Sankey and Sons) involvement with the original school build, back to the site. I also undertook a site supervisory and organisation role from the commencement of site works, working closely with contractors through to the project's completion.