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SMITHDON SCHOOL

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Smithdon School, a secondary school, was built in 1950-54 to the designs of Alison and Peter Smithson. It is constructed of a painted steel frame with buff sandlime brick infill and has a flat roof. The windows were originally of steel, without subframes, but now many of these have been changed to timber. It is two-storied but has single-storied workshops and kitchens to north. Compact and of an almost symmetrical rectangular plan, the school was built around two courtyards and has a central double-height hall spanning the two main ranges. All classrooms are glazed with obscured panels below cill height. The ground floor is of lower proportions than the upper floor. Between the main block and attached kitchen is a steel framed water tower with steel tanks. Conventional heating and fan systems were installed in 1990-1 and in the early 1980s the lower panes of each window assembly on each floor were changed to black sandwich panels and the windows set in wooden sub-frames. Smithdon School is considered to be an important building with innovative steelwork designed on the plastic theory.

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