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Folio: Heath House

The AR’s Manplan on Education presented the vanguard of its time

This axonometric view of Heath House was featured in the AR’s Manplan 4 on Education in January 1970. Scope, formerly known as The Spastics Society, undertook to fill a vacuum on the Isle of Thanet, Kent, and provide a hospital school unit for 30 children with disabilities. Considered to be ‘educationally in the vanguard’ at the time, the building was designed by Roman Halter and Associates and became home to The Foreland School, which still looks after children aged 2-19 with profound and complex learning difficulties. Under a large sloping roof, the central space is used for gathering, dining, playing and teaching. The three annexe spaces include: a hydro-physio and speech therapy section; an administration wing with a play and craft room that is also open to children from the convalescent home next door; and a teaching wing of three classrooms with sloping windows facing small planted areas contained by walls at child-sitting height. The facility is still in use today but, due to the increasing number of pupils needing places at The Foreland School, the institution will be moving to a new building designed by Hazle McCormack Young LLP in the near future. The NHS, owner of the building, has yet to decide where the future of Heath House lies.

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