The architect Sheppard Robson’s response, as part of a wider masterplan, provides a contemporary public, civic and private academy on a constrained site; enhancing the surrounding public realm and optimising the provision of external space.
The split-site Academy is located on opposite sides of Primrose Hill Street. On the northern side, the Enterprise and Innovation Centre will have an emphasis on vocational learning for post-14 year old students, to be completed by Robothams architects.
Sheppard Robson developed a ‘Stepping Stone’ solution for the Academy design that increases in scale from a two storey sports hall to a three storey building, stepping across the sloping site and integrating a storey level change seamlessly within the stepping classroom clusters. This solution has also created opportunities for a series of external spaces, between and around the two buildings. The scheme breaks away from a traditional linear street to one that promotes a strong sequence of linked public spaces; paving the way for a number of future relationships within the wider ‘Learning Quarter’.
Louise Merrett, associate at Sheppard Robson and project leader for Sidney Stringer Academy, comments:
“This area was previously a thriving manufacturing base and the Academy is in close proximity to a number of underprivileged residential communities within the Swanswell Regeneration area. We believe the planning approval will be a catalyst for further improvement; our design provides a building to be used by the local community and a public space on an urban site.”
Construction will begin in November 2009, with completion expected in summer 2011 for the academy buildings and March 2012 for the academy grounds and sportshall.