Toxteth Music School
Toxteth Music School and its residential units present on an adjacent site are located on the edge of the city centre, an area bridging the commercial and residential areas of the city. The focus of this project was on developing a school with a combination of large scale, public-facing elements and smaller, personal spaces with more privacy. The service block, entrance and auditorium are all multi-storey structures which provide a barrier for the private courtyard. Jutting out into the courtyard around its perimeter are a series of single-storey learning spaces expressed through their separated forms.
Previously the site was derelict and the spaces around the site were only used as routes from the city centre to the residential area meaning no one spent significant time here. The courtyard and waiting spaces between the teaching rooms aim to provide social spaces and allow people to enjoy spending more time on site.
This project has a large environmental aspect to it and so has considered environmental design through its development. A key feature of the design is the use of rammed earth as the construction material for the teaching spaces and auditorium. Rammed earth aesthetically worked when designing these monolithic blocks (the teaching rooms) and provides a more environmentally friendly alternative to concrete, even using soils from on site. The earthy tones of the rammed earth and use of brick for the service block help situate the structure into its context.