Classroom gets heritage status
Kennington School in Preston enjoys being top of the class.
Now the Fulwood primary is firmly on the map after making it on to on to Historic England’s roll of architectural honour.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has confirmed grade two listed building status on the unusual “bubble” classroom at the school.
Along with neighbouring Archbishop Temple CE High, it joins a small list of 50 other schools built since 1945 that were granted Grade II status last year.
The futuristic pod has always been used by reception pupils and is linked to the school’s Victorian main building by a corridor.
Made out of 35 reinforced white triangular polyester panels assembled to create an angular modified icosahedron, or a 20-sided shape, it was designed by Lancashire County Council architects Ben Stevenson and Mike Bracewell in 1973/74 and was the first fully structural plastic building in Britain.
Richard Brook, a principal lecturer in architecture at Manchester School of Architecture jointly run by Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Manchester came across it during his research and campaigned to get it officially recognised.
He said: “It’s generally very difficult to get post-war buildings listed and so I’m delighted at contributing to securing the Grade II listing of this architecturally experimental and important classroom.”
Simon Pritchard, headteacher at the school added: “It is going to be good for the school and the community.
“ It is already a talking point, especially with visitors and parents of pupils – and also former pupils who like coming back to reminisce on the days when they were in the unit.”
“We didn’t apply for this status, it is something English Heritage awarded, and it is fantastic that it is still here after all these years.”