Fabric Walkway.

Now called Canolfan Addysg y Bont, this co-educational day special school specialises in the care and education of students between the ages of 3 and 19 who are diagnosed as having severe learning difficulties. The aim of the school is to help pupils achieve their full potential by reducing the negative aspects of their disability in an appropriate environment that caters for the wide spectrum of student’s needs.

As part of an £8.5m construction project, Fabric Architecture were selected as the preferred supplier for fabric structure to provide covered walkways around the school’s high-traffic areas.

The challenge.

Constructed to BREEAM Excellent standards, the fabric structure is just one of the many sustainable building design features, which also include photovoltaic panels, BIOMASS heating systems, solar hot water, low water demand sanitary installations and sedum green roofing.

The design of the 34m long curved fabric structure walkway is unusual, with double canopies forming a “gull-wing” which provides as much cover as possible, while keeping the concrete foundations to a minimum. The 3m high clearance on the underside of the canopies allows school buses and cars to get close to the main entrance, providing their passengers with full wet-weather shelter. Rainwater is captured by a neat gutter on the central columns and the steelwork is galvanised for ease of long-term maintenance.

The solution.

Each of the six bays is 5.8m wide, keeping the columns to a minimum and allowing plenty of usable space underneath for the students. Ranging in ages between 3 and 19 years, the 70 day students are given every opportunity to achieve their full potential at this fabulous new facility in Llangefni. Learning in an environment full of warmth, security, consistency and understanding designed to help them thrive, we think there may just be a few budding engineers and architects among them!