Danesfield Primary School Science Room

A flexible science room doubles as the stage for school events

Project details


Marlow, Buckinghamshire




Danesfield School





Danesfield Primary School is a local single-storey primary school in Marlow, Buckinghamshire built in the 1960s. The school approached Napier Clarke Architects in 2018 to design a low-cost science classroom that would be inspirational to pupils, and provide an exceptional, high-quality flexible learning environment for both children and staff.


Napier Clarke’s design is an all-timber mono-pitched freestanding structure. With a soaring roof that opens towards the playing fields, the building is designed to have a distinctly different feel to conventional school classrooms. Located to the rear of the school’s yellow-gold brick buildings, next to the playing fields and surrounded on its other two sides by dense woodland, the building aims to excite children in the subject of science – in particular ecology, the environment and biology.

View of the science classroom showing the soaring monopitch roof and timber glulam columns.


The scheme is designed to be as cost-effective, low carbon and easy to build as possible. It is constructed using a simple, repeated asymmetrical post and beam glulam structure and is clad using FSC larch timber, treated with SIOOX. Deep overhangs on the front and rear elevations provide solar shading and act as covered walkways for children to shelter from the elements. Integrated sustainable features include air source heat pump, natural ventilation and passive shading.

Exterior view of a fixed side window at Danesfield Primary School's new standalone science classroom building.

The glulam timber colonnade facing onto the playing views, sheltered by the cantilevered roof.View of timber overhanging roof and structure at Danesfield Primary School science room.

The science room internally is a single 70 square metres flexible space. It provides a teaching area for 30 students, including practical workstations. The timber structure is left exposed, and the concrete floors and plywood ceilings are simple, cost-effective and hardwearing finishes. Bi-folding doors and expansive windows give views onto the playing fields and woods for children to learn freely between inside and out.

The science classroom has a simple palette of timber, plywood and white walls inside, creating a light and airy feel.

The project was delivered to a tight budget and has become more than a science room. The external covered terrace doubles as a perfect outdoor stage for school performances, and the building as a multipurpose space extracurricular activities and events.



Ground floor plan, Danesfield Primary School science room.



Main contractor - Bridge Timber


Will Scott