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Ysgol Hafod-y-Wern Primary School


Following a competitive selection process, Lawray was appointed to design and deliver a newly amalgamated primary school in North Wales.

The Brief

Ysgol Hafod-y-Wern Primary School is situated in Caia, a designated Communities First area of Wrexham. The area faces high unemployment and social disadvantage – the project presented the opportunity to design and build a school that would have a lasting positive impact on this community.

Working within an extremely challenging budget, the brief required a modern redesign that would be highly compatible with the needs of primary age pupils and ensure that the existing buildings remained operational during construction of the new school.

Our Solution

In contrast to previous solutions for the site, the team determined from the outset a single-storey design to be most suitable, enabling each classroom to open out onto a secure outside space for play and external teaching.

To further minimise scale to approaching pupils, eaves levels are kept as low as possible with larger volumes such as the school hall located to the rear. The early years accommodation is broken down into simple shapes, brightly coloured to ease identification.

The school is located to the rear of the site keeping pupils as far as possible from the adjacent roads, placing playing fields and landscaped areas to the fore. This layout also avoids impinging upon an avenue of poplar trees, a significant landscape feature.

Our solution is deliberately low-tech in its approach ensuring ease of understanding for staff and delivering low energy usage, whilst the design is inclusive and accessible.

These factors contribute to the building attaining certification as BREEAM ‘Excellent’.

Since completion the project has received the accolade of the Best New Building Award from Wrexham Area Civic Society and has successfully facilitated the school’s vision to create a space where children can reach their full potential.

Lawray Architects are an affable bunch of people, easy to work with yet still very professional. That’s especially useful for clients who aren’t used to the everyday business of design, contractors and tenders. They approach the job and client as you would like to think you would do yourself with anyone working in unfamiliar territory.

Daniel Shaw

Torch Theatre General Manager