BAM Midlands and BAM Design are working from concept design to construction on a multi-faith secondary school in Birmingham. The early stages of construction are about to commence. The £8 million contract to create the 700-pupil Sikh-ethos Nishkam High School was won in competition.
The project, which recently secured full planning approval, is being driven by the principle of ‘Nishkam’ – a philosophy of serving others without expectation or recognition.
This is reflected in the community providing, free of charge, 10 per cent of the labour and materials as an act of devotion to the school. BAM Design is using building information modelling across all disciplines to develop detailed proposals for the triangular building on a site owned by the Nishkam School Trust on Great King Street North.
The neo-classical design, a specific client requirement, incorporates a grand concave entrance, which will welcome pupils to the school and give immediate views of a large triangular spiritual space.
The spiritual space, which is central to the school’s philosophy, will be flooded with natural light from an ETFE transparent roof and be visible from all classrooms, assembly, performance and dining rooms. Dave Ellis, construction director at BAM Construction, said: ‘This is a very exciting project and we look forward to using our range of design and build skills to create a truly inspirational multi faith school for the pupils. ‘BAM always works to ensure the local economy and environment benefit from its projects, but the local community will be immersed in this project on a totally different level. ‘It is fantastic to have so much involvement from the people we are ultimately providing the building for.’ Nishkam High School will be open to pupils aged 11 to 19. It will be a free school, funded by the government but operated outside of local authority control. Executive principal Terry Green said: ‘In productive partnership with BAM we will create a state-of-the-art school, which will represent a long-lasting legacy and a hugely important learning centre that will improve the life chances of all of our young people.’
The project is due for full completion in September 2014, with pupils moving into the new building from the summer term 2014.
BAM’s track record in Birmingham is exceptional, having delivered Joseph Chamberlain Sixth Form College (which won the Prime Minister’s Best Public Building Award) and the Severn Trent Centre among many other landmarks in the City. ENDS