The Castle School, practical and welcoming environment for children with Special Educational Needs designed by Nightingale Associates is located in Newbury, United Kingdom. In the centre is a sensory garden with four raised flower beds that symbolise touch, taste, smell and colour and a water feature chosen by the school, which provides a focal point. A mixed palette of building materials compliments the natural setting and adjacent buildings, with hard materials used on the ‘acoustic edge’ to the car park and softer materials like glass and timber used to connect with the garden and landscape beyond.
A light and airy common room in the middle of the building provides direct access to the garden. Admin and staff areas orientate around the main entrance, enhancing security and enabling passive supervision. The kitchen, plant and other services are located along the northern elevation adjacent to the car park, and classrooms are arranged in the two wings running south. Building flexibility is ensured by minimal fixed furniture, a range of room sizes and acoustic movable walls.