BDP sustainable school design rewarded for 'professionalism and flair'
BDP’s Leigh Technology Academy in Dartford was declared best outstanding new or refurbished secondary school in the country as the winners of the inaugural TES (Times Educational Supplement) Schools Awards were announced on 9 June at the London Hilton Hotel on Park Lane.
These awards celebrate and reward the professionalism and flair of those teams making an outstanding contribution to primary and secondary schools in the maintained and independent sectors. The awards encompass new facilities, innovation in teaching, leadership and community involvement.
Leigh Academy, which opened in 2008, is a groundbreaking 1,500 pupil school, specialising in technology and ICT. The school consists of four colleges, all under one roof. The school is brimming with innovation being highly sustainable and uses aspects such as orientation, passive cooling, earth tubes and passive ventilation to achieve 65% of the carbon emissions compared to DCSF benchmarks and a reduction of 30% against part L. The school has already been praised with accolades from the Civic Trust and RIBA, while Building Service Journal named it as its project of the year.
BDP architect director Keith Papa, who made the submission on behalf of the school said: “It is extremely rewarding to receive this accolade from the people who use our buildings and who know what it takes to make a great new school. We are delighted to have been part of the making of the new Leigh Technology Academy where such great teaching and learning takes place. It is a unique response to the design challenge to set open learning terraces and classrooms around a daylit wintergarden and our design approach is clearly paying dividends for the Leigh Technology Academy. The feedback we have received is that the architecture does a superb job of supporting the pedagogical and pastoral approach of the Academy. It is a brilliant example of a dynamic and passionate client and designer working together to create a delightful and inspiring place of learning.”