Ainsley Gommon Architects


Gwynedd Council


Dolgellau, Gwynedd


Approx. £1.6 million

Date Completed

Design Stage Completed 2013

Development Overview

Ainsley Gommon Architects were appointed by Gwynedd Council in early 2012 to act as lead consultants providing architectural design services for the extension and refurbishment of Ysgol Brithdir in Dolgellau. The brief required the provision of a new extension and the refurbishment of the existing primary school building in the village of Brithdir, to accommodate increased pupil numbers following the amalgamation of three local schools to create a new Area Primary School.

The existing school is located on the outskirts of the village two miles from Dolgellau town centre, and provides education facilities for local children aged between 3—11 years old. The steeply sloping site is particularly challenging as it is located outside of the development boundary in the visually sensitive Snowdonia National Park which meant the scheme was developed with close consultation with both the National Park’s planning department and education department.

Recognising the importance of both formal and informal teaching approaches, the extension has been designed to provide flexible teaching spaces, with a mix of traditional classrooms, flexible spaces and areas to facilitate informal learning, with circulation and play areas designed to encourage social interaction and allow easy supervision. The extension has been carefully designed to work with the surrounding landscape, using traditional local materials of stone, slate and timber with the aim of creating a complementary and sensitive scheme.

Due to the nature of the scheme, close consultation with both stakeholders and pupils was undertaken in both English and Welsh. Following on from the our involvement with this primary school project, Ainsley Gommon were then appointed by Gwynedd Council to act as Architectural Designers and Lead Consultants on the development of another new area primary school within the County, Ysgol Bro Llifon, which can be viewed here.