St Patrick’s Primary School, Castlederg


The circular form of the nursery block came about by our desire to create a sense of belonging to children attending school for the first time. The plan of the building emphasized the play approach to learning in a group environment.

tracey architects derry | st patricks primary school castlederg

The central play/teaching space is partly wrapped in ancillary accommodation with various window shapes and sizes identifying with the age of the child. The contract was carried out under strict health & safety guidelines and with helpful communication from the school authorities.


The accommodation comprises of 3 classrooms, toilets, special needs and staff room. The existing school is over 35 years and the new extension sought to give a new dynamic to the site. The design philosophy was to maximize the use of light and avoid dark narrow corridors which can be intimidating to school children.

The classrooms are thus arranged in a linear manner with the ancillary spaces opposite both linked by a top lit corridor which because of its shape can become a flexible space. The staffroom is judiciously sited to overlook the playground.

The materials are traditional but are used in a modernist way which together with the new roofscape gives the site a much needed lift and sense of school enclosure.

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