A unique outdoor classroom at a school in Preston has become grade-II listed.Advertisement
The Bubble at Kennington Primary School is a futuristic pod built between 1973 and 1974.
Lecturer Richard Brook launched a campaign to get the Fulwood school’s unusual extension listed.
The classroom is made out of 35 reinforced white triangular polyester panels assembled to create a 20-sided shape.
It was designed by architects Ben Stevenson and Mike Bracewell of Lancashire County Council and was the first fully structural plastic building in Britain.
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Principal lecturer at Manchester School of Architecture Richard Brook said: “The classroom was part of a survey of the work of Roger Booth, Lancashire County Council’s architect between 1962 and 1983.
“I had been looking at his work for a while when invited to write a piece for the Journal of the Twentieth Century Society which is soon to be published.
“Scanning every page of the Lancashire County Council architect department reports, I came across the black and white images of the classroom and was fascinated by it and couldn’t understand why it wasn’t known to aficionados in the region, given that I’m well connected with heritage groups.
“I thought it must be because it had been demolished but my research revealed it was still standing and I could barely contain my excitement.
“Within a week I was photographing it and I met a man who lived across the road who said his two children had been taught in there in reception class and absolutely loved it. The children call it The Bubble.”
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The listing was announced by the Department of Digital, Cultural, Media and Sport on the advice of Historic England.
Chief executive of Historic England Duncan Wilson said: “We are pleased to have these impressive and diverse designs join the List, as they express imaginatively the new approaches to education in the post-war period. Careful and innovative use of materials distinguish the buildings and reflect the investment at the time.”
What do you think about the building being listed? Were you educated here? Let us know in the comments below