Abbey Wood School

Landscape masterplanning and design


Gardiner Theobald


Abbey Wood School (Formerly Filton High School) was selected by South Gloucestershire Council as its ‘Pathfinder’ school as part of the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme. The school was to be completely rebuilt on the existing site and the client brief was to create an enhanced environment in which students could learn and study. The Landmark Practice was appointed to design and oversee the landscape scheme.


In order to maintain school activities, the new building was constructed on the existing sports pitches whilst the existing school remained in operation. Once complete the staff and students were relocated into the new school buildings, allowing the demolition of the old school to enable the creation of new sports pitches and outdoor classrooms.

The landscape scheme spanned both phases of the development. It provided a set of outdoor spaces for activities associated with both curricular learning and outdoor recreation. The school grounds design also incorporates a horticultural garden, wildlife garden, orchard, art and science courts for display and interactive learning opportunities.

The design and use of high quality materials in the main entrance way and outdoor spaces have created a distinctive and engaging environment. The extensive planting design incorporated large trees and native hedgerow species to soften areas of hard standing and help counteract heat island effects. The planting scheme was designed to include shaded green space and vegetated walls which provide shelter from the sun, rain and wind as well as an informal learning resource.