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Schools are often the lifeblood of a local community, which makes it all the more important to create a building that is both functional for education and welcoming for visitors. This was a key consideration in creating St Luke’s Primary School in Salford.

Designed by Atkins architects, the brief was to provide a two-form entry school including a 30-place nursery and special educational needs support unit. Salford City Council envisaged a building that supported strong links between the school and the local community.

The site itself proved inspirational, being a stone’s throw from the Grade II listed Buile Hill Park, and the designers chose natural materials and landscaping that visually complemented the picturesque setting.

Longworth Building Services were subcontracted to deliver the cladding, and worked closely with the architects and Russwood to achieve the desired finish. Russwood Siberian Larch (SILA RW115) was utilised in two different profiles: a timber rainscreen system for the majority of the school and a more architectural feel for the sports hall delivered through the use of a black aluminium backing sheet to create shadow gaps. The timber rainscreen was installed at random lengths, providing a relaxed natural finish that offers a warm welcome to pupils and the wider community.

Graham Hogan of Atkins said “Russwood were proactive in attending design team meetings and developing the technical solution, which helped to ensure the installation on site was efficient and of a high quality”.

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