Corby Academy

Corby Business Academy in Northamptonshire specialises in business and enterprise and accommodates 1,200 students, with additional specialist facilities for 70 students with a range of disabilities. Configured around atrium hubs that maximise natural light and ventilation, the building incorporates a number of energy saving features. These include wind catchers on the roof to naturally ventilate the classrooms; angled walls at the back of the ground floor classrooms that sit below light wells, bringing daylight into the furthest recesses of the building; movement sensors on light fixtures; and fritting on the glazed atrium to reduce glare while maximising light.

The Academy’s façade contrasts polished black stone at either end with textured silver blockwork along the building’s 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. On plan, the building is characterised by its simplicity, with two entrances positioned asymmetrically at opposite ends of the building, each adjacent to a wide roof canopy spanning a semi-enclosed courtyard. The sports hall is contained in one of the black double-height blocks and makes up one side of this space. A separate community entrance to the south provides access to the theatre and restaurant, enabling use out of school hours.

Internally the building is tailored to the school’s academic structure, with the five faculties housed in individual, self-contained atrium hubs. 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. All classrooms have glazed walls looking into the atrium. 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.

Description from the architects


21 photos and 7 drawings

Building Activity