Research Aim: How can a neglected piece of land at Woodlands Academy be restored through school engagement?

This project focused on a piece of land behind Woodlands Academy in South East Bristol.  The main aim for this project was to take a derelict unused space behind the school and turn it into a safe, quiet place where the students could learn and play. We became part of a team consisting of a school representative, an architect, a sculptor and an ecologist.  Working closely with the school in particular we developed a design that included included a pavilion structure, a sculpture where interactive learning can take place, an area where produce can be grown, along with various spaces where the school can promote the arts and create Eco-learning possibilities.

To get a better understanding of what the pupils wanted from the space we held a community event and consultation at the school, with around 20 students from different year groups getting involved. Through the use of a 3D model and a template of the garden we asked the children to draw out their ‘dream’ design. Parents and teachers were invited at the end of the day to see the work and add comments and ideas.

Taking key ideas from this consultation, along with our own design, we formed a new garden design, creating a quiet relaxed space where the kids can escape the noise of the playground.

 The school has recently gained National lottery funding for the garden project, with works starting in March 2018.

 UWE Master of Architecture Students: Issy Metcalfe-Smith, Sarah Lee, Helen Bennett and Alex Evelegh

Client: Woodlands Academy