Liverpool City Council appointed our team to improve facilities at Bellerive FCJ Catholic College. The school is in a conservation area, characterised by large detached Victorian and Edwardian villas, many listed. This meant the design had to be of a high standard, which was challenging given the restricted budget. After extensive stakeholder consultation, our concept was a modern interpretation of a villa to sympathetically reflect the surrounding buildings.

We designed a new four-storey building with 21 classrooms on the upper floors. The ground floor contains spaces for use by the whole school, and the school’s new visitor entrance and reception. The ground floor is steel framed, and the upper storeys are timber framed, providing flexibility and efficiency. The steel frame enabled us to create a large, open atrium, whilst the timber structure provides a standardised layout on each floor that enabled efficient distribution of services. To reduce time on site and minimise costs we selected a prefabricated timber platform method for the construction process.

The new building provides a modern, comfortable learning environment. The external appearance represents a contemporary response to the site context and complements neighbouring properties.

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