Sheffield City Council / Mercia Multi-Academy Trust
Bond Bryan Architects
With a 25% increase in the birth rate in Sheffield since 2002 and 1,000 more children entering education each year, the city has embarked on a programme of delivering new schools to supplement capacity in established neighbourhoods. The new £25M Mercia School in the south-west of the city is one such example, ultimately offering 1,200 new school places to the communities of Nether Edge, Meadowhead and surrounding areas. Typical of much of the city of Sheffield, the location has a steep hilly aspect, and is also on a former landfill site, which presented the architects and engineers with a number of design challenges. The site has effectively been split into three levels, with the buildings on a central ‘tier’, above which a playground and games area has been formed on high retaining structures, and in front of the school the land slopes down to the lower level car park. The school buildings are arranged in a U-shape around a south-facing central social space that includes grassed islands within a hard paved area.
Furnitubes’ Zenith seating was chosen as it offered many different forms in a single coordinated range – traditional seats with backs, straight benches for placement against walls and curved benches for use around new feature tree planting. In addition, where low level gabions are used to deal with level changes Furnitubes’ Lapa benches were used to provide comfortable and cost effective seating solutions. In all, over 40 seating units were supplied to Mercia School, which opened to year 7 pupils in 2018 and will have a new intake for the following 4 years, when it will then operate at full capacity.
Visit the Furnitubes International website for more information on Mercia School, Sheffield, South Yorkshire