Swanshurst School

Building Use

Performing arts centre

Project Duration

9 weeks

Procurement Method


Why buy from Portakabin

Project Features

  • Dance classroom
  • Two drama rooms
  • Ensemble room
  • Two music classrooms
  • Two individual music practice rooms
  1. The Requirements

    Swanshurst School in Birmingham is a specialist science college for girls, with 1,800 students and 250 pupils in its mixed sixth form. A new purpose-designed performing arts centre was required to support music, drama and dance across the school, replacing outdated temporary classrooms which had been in use for the past 20 years.

  2. The Solution

    Portakabin (Refurbished) completed the new performing arts centre after only nine weeks on site, using recycled and refurbished building modules.Designed by Bournville Architects, the centre is clad in silver aluminium panels to provide an attractive yet robust finish which also complements the school sports hall.

    Special requirements included blackout facilities, lighting rigs and extensive acoustic protection between rooms.Because the building is constructed from pre-owned building modules, it is also a highly sustainable construction solution.

    Annette Tyler, Bursar at Swanshurt School explains: "This is the second Portakabin (Refurbished) building at the school and we are delighted with it. We looked at a number of modular building solutions and felt the Portakabin (Refurbished) approach was the best in terms of quality."

"The sound proofing is excellent - an important requirement for a performing arts building - and it has a solid, high-quality feel throughout. We are impressed with the standard of finish and workmanship, and the project management was professional, courteous and efficient. The building was delivered on schedule and on budget to a challenging programme and with no disturbance to the school whatsoever. Sustainability is also important to the school and all our staff and students are committed to recycling so the Portakabin (Refurbished) solution was a great example of that in practice." The music and drama building follows the completion of a 12-module single storey teaching block at the school. It is also their third education scheme with Bournville Architects.

David Clarke, Senior Architectural Technician at Bournville Architects said, "Because Portakabin (Refurbished) provides a second use for buildings, their solutions offer tremendous value, which enables us to meet client requirements to the available budget. On this project we were able to give the building a more contemporary appearance with the use of a cladding system and used high specification internal partitions to provide the necessary sound proofing.

The team hit the programme comfortably despite the tight programme and handed it over after only nine weeks on site."

We have worked with Portakabin (Refurbished) on three other projects and are confident in their ability to deliver on programme and on cost. They have a fantastic product - fast installation, high quality workmanship, and a high degree of flexibility.

David Clarke, Senior Architectural Technician, Bournville Architects

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