15 September 2008
Corby Business Academy in Northamptonshire has opened for the new school year. Specialising in business and enterprise, its diverse mix of business board rooms, hydrotherapy pool, performance theatre and restaurant are enclosed within self-contained atrium hubs that maximise natural light and ventilation and reduce energy consumption.
Accommodating 1,200 students with additional facilities for 70 special needs pupils; the Academy has extensive sports facilities, including three Sport Englands Community Use standard pitches. The building is tailored to the schools academic structure, with five faculties housed in individual atrium hubs. There are a number of energy saving features: wind catchers on the roof draw fresh air into the classrooms; angled walls at the back of the ground floor classrooms sit below light wells, bringing daylight into the furthest recesses of the building; movement sensors control light fixtures; and fritting on the glazed atrium reduces glare while maximising light.
The Academys façade contrasts polished black stone at either end with textured silver blockwork along the buildings length, parting to reveal six horizontal atria with glazed roofs. These atrium spaces create the focus for each faculty and open the building to daylight and views of the surrounding countryside. All classrooms have glazed walls looking into the atrium, maximising daylight, providing natural surveillance for teachers and reinforcing the concept of a subject hub with visual links between the classrooms. A separate community entrance to the south provides access to the theatre and restaurant, enabling use out of school hours.
Spencer de Grey, Head of Design, said:
In designing Corby Business Academy we addressed the learning needs of a wide range of students and sought to create a light-filled, inspirational place in which to teach and learn. The building also employs a number of highly innovative strategies including wind catchers on the roof - to improve its energy efficiency and ensure its sustainability over time.
Notes to editors
The materials palette is robust and contemporary, reflecting a professional environment and reinforcing the Academys business specialism.
Arranged on two floors, upper level walkways animate the central hallway and pull together these five different subject areas. Each is distinguished by colour-coded signs, coloured chairs and carpeted throughout to create a peaceful space for study.
In addition to these five subject areas, a designated special provision (DSP) unit provides further facilities for disabled pupils. The semi-private atrium means that activities here can be as discreet or integrated as required and the space also contains a hydrotherapy pool and small landscaped garden.