[Members of the team were invited to give ideas for what should happen with the entrance area.]
When people come around the corner from the front of the building I want them to discover a welcoming, garden-like court where they immediately feel comfortable and at home.
When people come out from the building I want them to feel comfortable, informal, intimate and open. I want them to feel it the most natural thing in the world to sit down and enjoy the sun (when there is sun), to gather into small groups to talk, or to find a place to sit and read. To feel at home. To feel they can take their shoes off if they want to. I don’t want it to be simply a corridor, a transit space, a space between other spaces. I want it to be a form of welcome carpet, where people will naturally pool before spilling into other places.
Whatever else happens, two things are essential. The first is to retain the walk that goes from the double doors into the wooden fence. I think it is important as an orienting device for returning New Barns children and adults. And I think it is important as a memorial, as an informal piece of commemorative sculpture.
The other is a form of discreet screening, to give the court an additional degree of privacy from the houses next door, as well as to hide the electrical substation. My favoured solution would be some form of trellis-work over which greenery would be trained.
2. I think it would be nice:
To incorporate the stone circle as an element on the brow of the hill.
To create a sculpture at the end of the “New Barns” walk, involving a small pile of bricks and stone, the sculpted cat which used to stand next to the steps at the front of the school (with its head properly fitted back on), and a discrete element of running water.
To replicate in some way the seating that has always been there, facing towards the field; where children and adults both during the life of the school and after, have naturally found themselves sitting, either massed together or alone.
3. I think it would be important:
To establish anchors as a part of the permanent fabric of the building and of the court, and to design an awning/marquee which could be easily and rapidly deployed and stowed.
To consider a system of ‘running lights’, for a friendly, guiding feel at night.
- Craig , 6.7.99