Langley Academy
In the spirit of the Government’s Academy Programme, Langley challenges traditional education by entirely reinventing the school experience. Sponsored by the Arbib Foundation, the school caters for 1150 students and introduces an exciting curriculum that includes unusual subjects, such as forensics. The specialist focus comprises science, museum studies, cricket and rowing. Driven by the priority to articulate these educational themes, this building goes a step further by physically embodying the spirit of scientific enquiry, museum curating and sport. Science laboratories are revealed, the services and energy use of the building are scientifically chronicled and displayed, and the visual links with the playing fields create an intimate relationship between the interior and exterior. Like a museum object, the scheme is highly readable, informative and stimulating, and the materiality of the building forms part of the learning experience.

The main entrance to the Academy is a large, open, flexible atrium, suitable for informal gatherings and assemblies. It is a generous exhibition space for loaned museum exhibits and schoolwork, and has direct views into the laboratories and domestic science lab. Pupils will be encouraged to learn about curating exhibitions by having direct experience of putting displays together. The plant room, ducts and pipes are revealed and energy use is available for scrutiny, and students are drawn into a proactive drive towards achieving a sustainable building. The atrium has views into the restaurant and through to the playing fields, so that the sporting achievements of the school are integrated and become key to the collective sense of pride and community.

Langley is a form-based Academy, for pupils between the ages of 11 to 18, and classrooms are configured around two ‘fingers’, which extend from the entrance atrium. Each finger encloses an internal courtyard for art and IT respectively, as well as external space. The classrooms are highly flexible teaching spaces, containing ergonomic furniture, perimeter teaching facilities and projection screens on all four walls. The idea is that these spaces can function like conventional classrooms as a well as open, adaptable rooms. This enables out of hours use of the building for the community, as well as the option for teachers to use less formal teaching methods.


10 photos and 4 drawings

Building Activity

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