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The WaterSHED

An award-winning approach to education


  • Rochdale


  • RIBA Stages 4-6


  • Delivery Lead
  • Principal Designer


  • £1m

The WaterSHED regenerates a redundant 1970s sports hall into a modern creative learning space providing a mix of formal and informal open-plan social, dining and learning environments for secondary school pupils.


Wardle Academy

Environmental sustainability is a crucial consideration of the design, and wherever possible, we sourced materials and components from salvage yards and scrap heaps.

Health and wellbeing play a vital role in the design. New roof lights facilitate an airy and spacious atmosphere, complemented by a palette of natural materials styled in an industrial workshop aesthetic celebrating Rochdale’s manufacturing heritage.

We substantially reduced waste from the construction process by setting the spaces out to industry-standard material dimensions. For example, the sheds are set out to the typical 4ft standard widths of a sheet of plywood. The floor is preserved in its original state to retain a playful memory of its former function.

As a growing and community-focused organisation, The Watergrove Trust look for delivery partners who understand our needs and are prepared to go the extra mile. K2 stepped up to the plate and were on hand to answer queries and provide the information that the contractor needed with clarity and purpose that helped ensure success. We are very proud of the end product and the one-team approach that got us there.

Mark Slocombe
Director of Estates – Watergrove Trust
Photos by Nick Caville.