Forest Park School, Hampshire

Client: Hampshire County Council
Architect: Hampshire County Council Architects
Main contractor: Morgan Sindall
Fabricator: Solaglas
Products: MODAL low rise façade system, FXi65 windows, CD commercial door, GXi sliding patio door


One of the first applications of the revolutionary MODAL low rise façade system is a visionary new primary school in Hampshire for children with learning difficulties.

Constructed in a £8.9m contract, Forest Park School near Southampton has created an inspirational, child-centred facility which is set to transform special school provision in Hampshire.

Inspired by the New Forest National Park

The school is a collection of low rise buildings interlinked by a series of canopies and arranged around a number of courtyards. The outer walls are constructed of brick with inner façades of dark timber and glass, and a combination of dual and mono-pitched zinc roofs.  The site’s landscaping was inspired by the heathland that characterises much of the New Forest National Park.

Finished in dark brown with contrasting bronze doors, the MODAL low rise façade system is used as fixed light glazing and with FXi65 windows. Sound attenuated louvres provide additional natural ventilation, and the GXi sliding patio door, which is fully integrated with MODAL, was also specified, together with the CD commercial door.

MODAL is a rapid-build low rise façade system – and the first in the UK to offer integral opening vents.  It has an innovative modular design, which gives specifiers a much wider choice of configuration options.

Accommodation for Children with Special Educational Needs

The new school, which has been created following the amalgamation of two existing schools, provides accommodation for 72 children with special educational needs, aged between two and 11 years.

Facilities include a library, IT suite, hydrotherapy pool, hall, children’s kitchen for cookery activities, therapy room, office, dining room, soft play room, light room, specialist art room and extensive external play areas.

Minimising Impact on the Environment

The scheme is targeted to achieve a BREEAM ‘very good’ rating and has a number of sustainability features to minimise its impact on the environment, such as:


  • Solar thermal panels to assist in providing hot water for the hydrotherapy pool
  • Combined heat and power system
  • High levels of natural ventilation
  • Highly glazed elevations to maximise natural light.
  • The buildings are orientated to minimise solar gain and improve cross ventilation, reducing the reliance on mechanical ventilation.

The Client’s Perspective

Nicky Dando, Head Teacher, Forest Park School:

“We are delighted with all aspects of the new building, including the glazing.  All visitors have commented on how light and airy the building feels.” 

Project Architect, Hampshire County Council:

“One of the key design objectives for this project was to maximise natural light and views out onto the landscaped areas, helping us to extend the building into the external play spaces. This is a sustainable building so we also needed to provide a good level of natural ventilation. The MODAL system could incorporate both louvres for passive ventilation and integrated windows.”

“We are very pleased with the finished building which is performing to a high standard and has been very well received by the children, staff and parents.”

New Innovations for Low Rise Façades

The MODAL system features a number of new innovations for low rise façades, including:


  • Both glaze-in and glaze-out fixed lights that can be used on the same elevation without any alteration to the sight lines.  This offers maximum security and ease of glass replacement wherever needed on the façade.
  • Integral open-in and open-out vents incorporated in the MODAL frame to minimise the visible aluminium and ensure consistent sight lines.
  • A fully thermally broken system which will achieve exceptional thermal performance and low U values – whether the specification is for a fully glazed façade, or incorporating the MODAL integral opening vents, or Technal’s GXi sliding window and balcony door.
  • Assembly using an innovative clip system for a high quality finish and faster installation.
  • Sight lines are maintained at 65mm across the MODAL range of options for a more uniform and modern appearance.
  • Drainage is fully concealed, with no unsightly caps on the frame or the vents, making it ideal for education applications.
  • Variations for low rise façades include single, double and triple glazed units; fixed lights; integral opening vents; doors; an integrated sliding window and door system; infill panels – and many combinations.

aluminium casement windows and low rise glazing for new school

aluminium casement windows and low rise glazing for new school

aluminium casement windows and low rise glazing for new school

aluminium casement windows and low rise glazing for new school

aluminium casement windows and low rise glazing for new school

aluminium casement windows and low rise glazing for new school