The new Corby Academy replaces the existing Corby Community College on a site at the centre of the new Priors Hall urban development. Sponsored by Brooke Weston CTC, the Weston Foundation and BeeBee Developments, the 1250 pupil Academy has a specialism in ‘Business and Enterprise.’ The design concept for the Academy responded to two key criteria: housing the organisational structure required to teach the proposed curricula, and recognising the strategic importance of the school in the Priors Hall masterplan; a new development with a dense mix of work, retail and residential accommodation.
The school forms one side of a new public square, providing a semi-public focus for the community that encourages interaction between the school and its surroundings throughout the day. In plan, the Academy is organised around the five faculties, which house the tutorial care and teaching facilities, and are accessed through a communal full-length double-height atrium space that is top-lit. fully-glazed facades allow views out from the classrooms to the exterior gardens areas. Full-length light shafts supply added natural light and ventilation to the ground-floor classrooms, with operable roof panels allowing cross ventilation to the first-floor rooms. First-floor faculty offices overlook the faculty entrances, ensuring optimum visibility and control of the circulation and study spaces.
Each of the individual faculties has its own open stairs, circulation galleries, and toilet facilities, which lead off the main circulation spaces. A ‘Gateway’ will manage the link between the Academy and the community by including local businesses, FE providers and partnerships with other schools. It is the Gateway that puts the Academy specialism on show and is an important link between the worlds of education and work. In addition to a number of service departments, a DSP area will provide specialist facilities but also allows for an inclusive approach to teaching with distributed facilities in the other faculties.
Client: Beebee Devlopments, Brooke Weston Foundation, Corby Academy Trust, Garfield Foundation
Consultants: Buro Happold, Davis Langdon, Buro Happold