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View: Grid List
Date
2012
Region
UK
Sector
Schools
Budget
£5m - £20m
Themes
Climate
Client
Shenley Academy, EACT
Location
Birmingham
Size
10,000sqm
Performance
EPC: A Rating, BREEAM: Very Good
Contact
Alex Abbey
Team
Shepherd Gilmour, Cundall, Planit, Lend Lease

Shenley Academy and Sixth Form is a large new-build school for 1,150 eleven to eighteen year olds, replacing the 1960s school building on the site. 

Shenley Academy

The Academy specialises in vocational education, in particular science and drama, and aims to promote stronger links with the local community.  

Shenley Academy, Birmingham

The Academy is organised around six learning centres which are designed to be as flexible and adaptable as possible. At the heart of each cluster is a social learning zone, which is open to general circulation. Here the classrooms have glazed walls that give a sense of openness and enrich the experience of walking through the building. The dedicated Sixth Form area overlooks an external dining court. 

The theatre and dance spaces are conveniently located in the central wing, adjacent the main entrance, to ease access for members of the local community. 

First Floor Plan

The 9.2Ha site falls dramatically over 30m from the south to the north. The new three storey building runs along the contour of the hill presenting itself as a long and low building that addresses the large landscape to the north. The facade design uses the length of the building to establish a rhythm of projecting and recessed bays, with the entrance bay set further back to give it a greater significance. On the south facade the hill is dug away to form a theatre court with terraced seating. 

"Staff, students and their parents, and members of the wider community, have all praised the impressive statement the building makes in the landscape, and the many impressive internal features...but most importantly it functions well as a busy secondary school built within the space constraints of BB98. It is testament to the way the students have reacted to their new accommodation that one year on, the building looks as pristine as it did on opening – it is a building of which they are justifiably proud."

David Firman, Capital Project Manager, Shenley Academy

Context

Shenley Academy could be likened to a large country house sitting in its own grounds.

The area to the north is conceived as parkland with criss-crossing long paths through grass, and large trees.

To reinforce the presence of the main entrance, a raised forecourt responds to the geometry of the recessed central bay. This forecourt, at the same level of the ground floor, projects forward to gather students arriving on foot or by bus. As the ground falls away, this projecting area forms a strong landscape element helping to locate the building on the site. 

On the south side, the hill is dug away to form the theatre court with terraced seating and the dining court.

Site Plan

Climate

A biomass boiler efficiently heats the building and provides hot water, helping the School to achieve a BREEAM ‘Very Good’ rating and an ‘A’ EPC rating.