Calling All Nest Builders

Spring and Summer may be way behind us now, nevertheless nature continues to build nests every day and Rotunda Roundhouses is joining their mission.

Introducing 'The Nest' at The Wren School in Reading. A beautiful new Rotunda round house classroom complete with full decked veranda ready for their school performances!

We are now in the finishing stages for second fix electrics/plumbing and final decoration, so we thought we would give you a sneak peek!

Take a look at this new eco - classroom, an expansive 9.5m diameter central teaching space for high school students including; 3m radial arc extensions housing a porch, a SEND one to one classroom, an office for two teachers, and a brand-new kitchen. The bespoke kitchen has been designed by our in-house interior design team and crafted by our skilled joiners compassing over 30 years' experience. It features a solid Oak work surface and serving hatch!

This has been a two-and-a-half-year journey for the Wren School to obtain the perfect round house eco classroom for their school. The site originally was an iron-age ROUND HOUSE settlement, so of course, a modern round house must be the solution!

Roundhouses have been built in Britain since the Iron Age to the early Roman period (600BC - 250AD). They used walls made either of stone or of wooden posts joined by wattle-and-daub panels and a conical thatched roof. In Scotland, the type of roundhouse that was built was the Atlantic roundhouse, which was created in both broch and wheelhouse styles.

There are many things in nature that we don't acknowledge or notice, for instance see how that thatch roof on the round house resembles a bird's nest? It is only when you take a break from our busy, bustling lifestyle that you start to take in the certain patterns that occur throughout the natural world.

Although nests are most closely associated with birds, members of all classes of vertebrates and some invertebrates construct nests. They may be composed of organic material such as twigs, grass, and leaves, or may be a simple depression in the ground, a hole in a rock, a tree, or a building. Most of the other species on this planet create nests, dens and burrows to support and nurture themselves and their young. Our species is the only one which puts itself in a square or rectilinear built habitat.

The one thing that we can actively say is that although each species of animal has a distinctively the common feature of a nest is that it is usually round, this is because Nest building is often driven by a biological urge in pregnant animals to protect their offspring, this is known as the nesting instinct. PERFECT - it is confirmed that round houses are a perfect environment for children!

Animals build nests to protect their eggs, their offspring, or themselves from danger. The simplest nest structures are adapted to hide eggs from predators, shield them from the sun or other environmental factors, or simply keep them from being scattered in ocean currents. In some cases, nests also help provide safety in numbers for egg-laying animals.

Learning from this we can state that the round structure feels more secure and nurturing as this is shown in nature, this is where our Rotundas come into play reflecting the shapes made in the natural habitat, helping our community feel nurtured and safe in the round of the building.

If you are thinking of building a new eco-classroom, forest school, nursery build, teaching area, learning environment, educational space a square space might not be the best expression of a nurturing experience for children so perhaps consider the below prior to installing your new educational building:

  1. Aesthetics - how does the building look - does it sit well in the landscape, has it a natural and organic form? Is the building connecting you to the outdoor natural environment. How do the aesthetics teach the children about sustainability within materials we use.
  2. Acoustics - is it sound-proofed and does it work well acoustically?
  3. Energy - In a round space, no child can get lost at the back of the room in a corner. It is an all inclusive space. Offering no hierarchy between the children, similar to a round table, no head of the table! Did you know the Victorians used to be fond of circular and curved buildings due to their belief that "The Devil hid in the corners"? There could be some truth to this! Feng Shui practitioners advise us that there is no build-up of negative qi or ch'i in a space without corners.
  4. Ecological Consideration - With deforestation and habitat loss at an all-time high it is absolutely worth checking the ethics of the manufacturer and questioning whether the timber is sourced from (a) The UK (locally grown - not flown!) and (b) from Certifiably Sustainable sources. It's in our hands to support those who choose not to support illegal deforestation practices.
  5. Practicality- If you are looking for a building in which to base your class-room/educational space, you'll need something more than a box, at Rotunda we can offer the full works! Fitted kitchens, cabinets, bespoke curved seating and ta-bles are the norm for us. Buildings Regulations compliant, fully insulated, with full electrics and equipped with the features you'd expect to enable you to work to your greatest potential.
  6. Sustainability - Sustainability comes first! We must act now in order to keep our planet alive for future generations. Please consider the building's carbon footprint before purchasing!

For Schools needing new learning spaces and wishing to invest, not only in the future of their pupils but on lowering the environmental impact of new buildings on the planet, it's worth mirroring your teaching styles with Eco-Friendly Classrooms. These inspirational modular buildings are made from sustainable, UK-grown wood. Just one incredible way to align with the natural and ancient rhythms of the world to which children are innately drawn.

The round in nature is the strongest shape, meaning it can genuinely feel secure adding that safe feeling for your pupils within their classroom on a daily basis.

So if you are a school, nursery, early years care provider, college or forest school and you have a vision or dream for your future development, give us a call on 0161 222 3350.

The Wren Nest - Completed October 2022

The vision:

The reality: