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Phoebe Mo — Playful Picturesque

Emerging from the trees, a boundless field, vast explosions of colours and smells, enchanting a new world. Reflecting the presence and absence, of a new kind of architecture.

Playful Picturesque — A Primary school for those with special needs and disability. By Phoebe Mo.



Hoskins Close, Custom House, Newham



To develop a new school model which incorporates provisions for special needs pupils in order to address the rising school age population in London.



Children and young people need exciting, accessible school buildings. Inclusive design can enable and empower those with disabilities to participate fully in life at school and in the wider community. The project will also address a key issue of adult poverty within the disabled community, itself a consequence of exclusion and poor education.



The design follows from a need to create a highly protected environment that feels open, accessible and safe. The circular form creates an enclosure without the need for walls. The building is elevated for protection — landscape as architecture — architecture as a result of the landscape.



The school synthesises mainstream and special educational needs and disabilities, allowing for community exchange while simultaneously allowing students to develop their own identity and skills for life as a social individual.


The hill creates a landscape, which usually sits outside of a building. Learning from our natural world – the landscape that exists outside, is brought inside.
The design principles follow from a need to create an incredibly protected environment that also feels extremely open. The circular form creates an enclosure without the need for walls.
The hill becomes part of the architecture. Child scaled window alcoves provide a colourful garden prospect. The outdoor classrooms are enclosed by the understory of birch trees, creating a protective refuge.
The building is made from a solid CLT structure with a pitched wooden shingle roof, wrapping around the circular form. Openings are made to let the light in within the outdoor classrooms and the internal spaces that open up to the surrounding nature.
Nursery and hideout space
Mirrored indoor and outdoor learning spaces.
Vertical garden
A discovery of the picturesque



Further work 

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