Northampton Academy has clear and visible circulation routes making navigation around the building straight forward and supervision easy. It also demonstrates how sustainability can be integrated into the design without resorting to bolt-on features or gimmicks.
Northampton Academy was created by amalgamating two failing schools, and opened in September 2004 in the buildings of one its predecessors. It has a dual specialism in sport and in business and enterprise and is sponsored by the United Learning Trust. The majority of the funding was from the DfES (now DCSF) Academies programme, with a small contribution from the sponsor.
The catchment area of the school has high levels of social and educational disadvantage. Most of students are white British, and the proportion of students from other ethnic backgrounds is broadly average. The proportion entitled to free school meals is above the national figure and attainment is still low with 24% 5A* - C GCSE grades.
Feilden Clegg Bradley were appointed as architects following the submission of bids by architects on the DfES Academies framework. The academy has been designed as a series of two-storey pavilions, clustered around a diamond-shaped courtyard. A continuous corridor runs around the first floor of the building, looking into the courtyard at various points with enclosed bridges linking between the blocks. Beneath this corridor a covered colonnade runs around the perimeter of the courtyard at ground level.
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