Year | 2022
Location | Hope, Peak District, Derbyshire
Clients | Hope Valley College

Hope Valley College is a school located in the heart of the peak district. The initial brief focused on run down infrastructure and the various site constraints. As a team, we took this as a starting point and engaged with the Hope Valley College Community to identify key issues within the school.

Through this process we established 3 main goals for the project; re-designing two deteriorating science blocks, developing a thermal comfort strategy and making physical changes to the school.

Hope Valley College had previously explored funding opportunities for a new science block and had applied for Condition Improvement Funding (CIF); this application was rejected. We engaged with the school and other stakeholders to understand why this was and to create supporting documents for a new CIF bid. Throughout the project we worked with students and teachers to identify other issues in the school, such as an absence of social spaces, a lack of accessible toilets and inadequate connection with the existing science blocks and allotment. This enabled us to create a design that met the clients need and could be phased to meet the requirements of the CIF bid.

Yearly government funding depends on student numbers, therefore schools must attract new students to sustain themselves financially. We compiled the requirements to apply for the funds and grants for the client to refer to.

One of the main issues was that classrooms overheat in summer and are too cold in winter, so we proposed a phased thermal comfort strategy. Each phase caters for different levels of funding as they become available, the first phase focusing on low cost small scale interventions, while later phases propose an internal retrofit that progresses to passive haus standard.

Our engagement showed us how passionate the school community is about Hope Valley College. We decided to work with the students to make real changes to the school environment and kick-start the ambition for the future. Working with Post 16 students, a group of students with special needs, we rebuilt a section of path in the allotment to make it wheelchair accessible. Over half term we laid the groundworks and completed the path with year 9 students and a group of Post 16. We designed a mural to brighten up an unloved courtyard in the centre of the school, with the help of 40 year 9 students, giving them a sense of ownership over the school.


Mentor: Kate Nicklin
Client: Hope Valley College
Location: Hope, Peak District, Derbyshire
Students: Mia Deaville, Amelia Coles, Ethan Medd, Lucia Mugena, Felicity Heath, Maximillian Betley, Greg Cockburn, Genevieve Leake, Rachita Binwani, Zhou Huang, Xexuan Kang, Yuhan Zhou, Junping Zhou.