Eco Classrooms Early Years Education & Schools

We work within all areas of Early Years Education to enhance your effectiveness in creating truly memorable leaning experiences.  Primarily catering for children in Key Stage 0 to Key Stage 2; we design and build bespoke Eco Buildings & Nurturing spaces for Nurseries, Infant Schools, Primary schools and Playgroups.

One thing we’ve learnt; is that there is a shared vision amongst our clients.

That is of a better world for our children. This is evident through the way that our clients run their schools and nurseries and in their passion to provide the most suitable platform for optimum educational and cognitive & emotional wellbeing for their pupils and staff.

The children who are now embarking into early years education are entering a world of environmental upheaval and uncertainty.  On a global level, concern is arising about the decline in biodiversity and the alarming level of human disconnect from nature.   

But this isn’t to say that we can’t reverse this great tragedy and turn things around for our children.

Due to new cutting edge manufacturing techniques and the leaps and bounds in innovation behind the timber-framing and modular building industry, a new building style has arisen.  A building, in which it’s very purpose, is to support the children of today as we look ahead towards their future. 

Iconic in shape and supportive in nature, this is a building designed to benefit children.  A nurturing space which echoes and mimics the organic curves of nature and cocoons it’s inhabitants as a shelter, for nurturing, exploring, discovery and expansive thinking.  

For we are a species experiencing life on a spherical planet, rich in life, colour and the cycles of organic life.    Look around at nature and hold in the palm of your hand a conker, an acorn or a smooth pebble. Watch the spirals and circles in unfurling leaves, ripples and movements of our oceans and atmosphere and you will be unable to find a right angle. 

It is our belief that housing children in purely functional square or rectilinear learning environments which do not place an emphasis on the natural world may only serve to further cause a disconnect between the child and their natural environment. We firmly believe that it’s our duty as the caregivers, parents, facilitators, classroom designers and educators to encourage children to forge a connection to the natural world as part of their learning journey.  For what chance have we got to protect our natural world if we are not instilling in our children a passion for it from an early age?

But that’s not to say you should sacrifice functionality for idealistic design principles. The Rotunda commercial building performs exceptionally well as a contemporary and modern school building which satisfies all of the stringent regulations required for new school structures.  Fitted with fire alarms, full security doors, ramped access, disabled access, fully fire-proofed and an exemplary level of insulation this is as high-tech eco-building with the rustic charm of a woodsmans’ cabin.

The simplicity of the circle is undoubtedly the most incredible feature of the Rotunda.   We have become so accustomed to the rectilinear world that the novelty of being in the round is breathtaking.  This enchanting building is inspired not only by nature but by the buildings crafted by our ancient ancestors.  Pre-Neolithic humans lived on and in the landscape, commonly in Roundhouses and relied heavily on the natural environment; more so than we do today.   How better to educate our children than to inspire them from the inside out.   

A built environment which works with the laws and parameters of nature; rather than against it.

But, this is not holistic rhetoric from an environmentally focused organisation wishing to embrace circles for the sake of shape alone.

Our research tells us that:

  • A circular building is on average 30% more resource efficient.  The circle, or cylinder holds the greatest amount of volume for the least amount of surface area.  Compared to a rectilinear footprint, a circular classroom requires on average 30% fewer materials to construct. 
  • The circular building has excellent thermodynamics.  Due to the double-glazed roof-light dome at the apex of the ceiling, warm air circulates naturally and rises up to the dome.  Once it hits this (which is cold) the air cools and drops straight down in a column in the centre of the building.  This then rises again around the internal space and dances around to create wonderful movement of air within the building without requiring mechanical ventilation.
  • A circular building is filled with natural light. The walls of a circular building wrap around 360 degrees allowing our clients to position windows around the space on the south and east elevations irrespective of the building configuration.  The 1.8m diameter roof-light dome catches the sun as it transitions across the sky all day long, always maintaining a fully lit space which is natural and uplifting. The lack of corners means that light bounces around the space and keeps it wonderfully airy and open.
  • A circular building is structurally superior to a rectilinear one and as such is a fantastic storm-proof and weather proof shelter.  Many US House builders in the Hurricane belt specify circular homes due to the aerodynamic nature of the cylindrical form.  Wind just whips around it’s perimeter.

The Rotunda is has an all-round approach to how we support the well-being of our children. 

Constructed in a controlled factory environment, fitted with state of the art heating systems, double glazed windows and doors, fully buildings regulations compliant modular panels, integrated with off grid technologies and topped off with wild-flower meadow roof systems.  This is a building which bridges two worlds. 

What’s more, we believe that our children and childcare professionals deserve nothing less.  They deserve natural, holistic and psychologically led environments.  They deserve buildings and functional spaces which embody the philosophy of the school or nursery.  They deserve buildings which nestle snugly amongst trees and hedgerows and bring a breath of fresh air, joy and comfort to teachers and pupils.   This is no ordinary building.

We have no shame in stating that we align ourselves with the activists, ambassadors, philosophers and spiritual leaders who all urge us to change.  Change is essential, and we at Rotunda embrace the challenge.  

The philosophy of Rotunda ensures that;

  • We refuse to import timber from abroad, and choose to support only our British Woodland Industry.  
  • We do not insulate our buildings with petrochemicals
  • We do not choose toxic paints but supply clay based ones instead
  • We do not treat our timbers unless specifically requested to
  • We do track the road miles of our components to reduce the carbon footprint of the building
  • We do not use concrete footings but instead raise the structure up above ground on screws
  • We install hedgehog houses under the floor joists and bird boxes under the eaves

We believe that the best classrooms are designed by those who are deeply passionate about child well-being, creativity in education and positive change to our early years sector.  We understand the long- term benefits that actively nurturing those within our early years system can bring to our society. 

As a practical solution, we understand that you need an architecturally designed building which ticks all of the boxes. 

Look no further.   You’ve discovered your building.

Copyright © Rotunda Roundhouses Limited.