CG rendering of Discovery Special Academy.
Jane Imrie

Durham architect chosen for £7.7m educational facility in Teesside

A Durham-based architectural practice is set to support the delivery of a new multi-million pound educational development in Teesside.

Howarth Litchfield has announced its latest multi-disciplinary commission in the specialist education sector - a new £7.7m project for the Department for Education (DfE) on behalf of Tees Valley Education Trust (TVED) in Middlesbrough.

A planning application has been formally submitted to Middlesbrough Council for a new school building with capacity for 84 pupils as part of the project, known as Discovery Special Academy.

Following Interserve’s appointment by the DfE Construction Framework as main contractor to design and build the new facility, Howarth Litchfield was appointed by Interserve to act as lead designer, responsible for providing a range of additional services including Building Information Modelling (BIM), interior design and principal design duties.

Keith Handy, project architect and a director of Howarth Litchfield, explained: “Specially designed interior spaces have been incorporated which allow for the integration of specialist therapeutic interventions such as rebound therapy, sensory stimulation, physiotherapy and soft play, which are key to the overall mental and physical development of the children.

“The interrelationship between indoor and outdoor spaces and the variety of play and learning environments are essential design considerations to promote sound development.

“The new learning environment we are creating will fulfil the Trust’s and DSA’s commitment to fully meeting the individual needs of all pupils and ensuring the full integration of the academic, therapeutic and social curriculum.

“I am confident that thanks to our prior experience of designing for challenging education settings and our close collaboration with the Trust, we have come up with a design that will more than meet those needs for some time to come.”

Shaun Paramor, commercial manager, Interserve, added: “We are delighted to be working with Howarth Litchfield again.

“The team’s knowledge of working in this sector was attractive to us and they integrate well with our own team.

“It is rare to find this range of specialist knowledge in a regional practice, which makes for a seamless transition on site between the various disciplines.”

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