Northampton Academy
In Brief

The United Learning Trust


Construction value:

December 2005 

Northampton Academy is a new-build 1,420 pupil secondary school on the site of an existing upper school, with specialisms in Sport, Business and Enterprise. The aim of the school was to deliver an extended school agenda, providing both curricular and extra-curricular facilities for the pupils and wider community.

We wanted to create a visually permeable environment with an emphasis on clear and effective circulation. Linked pavilions follow a subtle non-orthogonal geometry around a sloping central courtyard, providing a social focus for the internal school community. The interaction of primary spaces, circulatory routes and views out to the surrounding landscape across changing levels, creates a stimulating and dynamic character to the heart of the school.

A shared aspiration of both the Sponsor and the Design Team was to make the project not just environmentally “friendly” but “progressive”. The concrete frame and soffits are exposed, utilising thermal mass for cooling via natural ventilation from windows and vents operated by the BMS system.

An emphasis on high quality natural daylighting is articulated by large clerestory rooflights above each faculty circulatory hub area, and circular rooflights of varying diameters placing natural light deep into the building. A large solar shaded glazed screen divides courtyard and dining hub.

Selected Awards

2007 Civic Trust Education Award

2006 RIBA Award 

Quote Image
"..the school has been dramatically turned around and is a prime example of how good design can influence both the good operation and the spirit of our educational establishments."
Architecture 06 The Guide to the RIBA Awards
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