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WYCHWOOD SCHOOL

What kind of school would you want your child to learn at? Establishing a sustainable future that maximizes its green location to put student and staff welfare first.

Oxford, Oxfordshire.

Nestled in the heart of the North Oxford Victorian Suburb Conservation Area lies Wychwood School, a venerable institution with a rich legacy of shaping the minds of young women. From its inception, the school’s founders held a clear vision of what a girl’s school should embody, and what Wychwood girls could accomplish. The founders’ unwavering commitment to this ethos has endured through the decades, culminating in a 120th birthday celebration in 2017, which drew a throng of 500 alumni, students, and parents. It is this rich history that imbues the school’s future with a radiance that promises to outshine its past.

To build upon this legacy, Dowen Farmer has partnered with Wychwood School to craft a visionary development that pays homage to its tradition while ushering it forward into a bright, co-ed future. A comprehensive site analysis was conducted to identify opportunities for future growth that would enhance the school's offerings and foster sustainability. This analysis was buttressed by a close engagement with stakeholders to cultivate a shared vision, one that embodies collaboration and fosters unity.

The design process includes an inspiring initiative that involved the students, in which they are given the opportunity to participate and contribute to the design process. This initiative not only aligns the students with the school’s vision but also serves as a teaching opportunity, inspiring young people about a potential future in the built environment. This approach embodies the school’s commitment to fostering a culture of inclusion and collaboration.

Simon Tyrell (Bidwells) – “We have worked with Dowen Farmer now on several education projects and the experience has been terrific every time. It is refreshing to work with a team who think ahead of prospective issues and accommodate operational difficulties to achieve fast solutions for us the client. We look forward to working with them on a great many more projects over the coming years”

Simon Tyrell (Bidwells) – “We have worked with Dowen Farmer now on several education projects and the experience has been terrific every time. It is refreshing to work with a team who think ahead of prospective issues and accommodate operational difficulties to achieve fast solutions for us the client. We look forward to working with them on a great many more projects over the coming years”

The concept – The future of Wychwood Estate includes maximizing the benefit of landscaping to offer additional outdoor learning spaces while also rationalizing the piecemeal nature of the site. The design also seeks to enhance the formal “postcard view” of the Banbury Road elevation and to review the potential of a central axis through the site.

Sustainability –  The plans also aim to maximize biodiversity and sustainable drainage/attenuation alongside finding opportunities for renewable energy generation. These elements combine to set out clear refurbishment strategies and locations to enhance and forefront the historic fabric.

Collaboration –  With the vision established, Wychwood School is poised to collaborate with Oxford University on a shared space that supports education technology start-ups, among other synergies.

Project Info

STATUS
CONCEPT DESIGN, 2023
TYPE
EDUCATION
LOCATION
COUNTY
OXFORDSHIRE
CLIENT
WYCHWOOD SCHOOL
AREA
3745m²

The Team

The Client
Wychwood School
Project Managers
Bidwells