The school design developed from an extended in-depth briefing process involving all key players in the school process; pupils, teachers, and parents. The resulting briefing document formed the basis of the design which saw the school as a centre of educational excellence and also a focal point of the local community.
A major challenge was to fit the extensive requirements, which included an indoor gym and a chapel/theatre as well as the usual teaching facilities, into a narrow site. This meant developing a scheme over several floors whilst at the same time ensuring that all the facilities were as close to one another as possible to promote a sense of close community.
To do this the central stair and surrounding spaces became the heart of the school with informal learning and social spaces placed around this. The major public spaces such as the library, gym and chapel/theatre are all located within easy access of the reception and this is helped by placing the gym on an underground level. By recessing the gym into the ground, we are able to access a green roof from the first floor stair landing thereby maximizing the connectivity between inside and outside spaces (a major wish from the briefing exercise). The green roof and the steps and terraces down to ground level are envisaged as teaching as well as leisure outdoor spaces. The client is the Christian International School of Prague (CISP).