De Warenne Academy, Doncaster
Working with Wates Construction, we secured a further two academy projects in Doncaster thanks to the success of our Campsmount Technology College project. It was used as a case study in the key recommendations section of ‘The Sebastian James Education Capital Spending Review’ by the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE).
De Warenne Academy originally comprised of tired late 20th Century buildings with no architectural significance and largely beyond their useful life in terms of access and environment. A replacement school with an area of approximately 5,300 m2 sits alongside the retained sports hall and teaching block.
The hilltop site benefits from excellent views over the surrounding landscape, including the ancient monument of Conisbrough Castle and the industrial heritage of a railway viaduct. Developed in close liaison with English Heritage, the design is a considered approach to its unique context.
The planform reinforces the connection to the landscape by locating the four principal learning zones in a striking position on the edge of the plateau to capitalise on the views. The history and geography departments are established on the first floor to maximise the inherent educational potential.
The detailed design of the elevations incorporates elements which reflect a defensive castle-like architecture. These are effectively used to contrast with large and welcoming open areas of glazing.
The building’s arrangement provides a clear distinction between facilities grouped for wider community use and the curriculum learning zones, with principal entrances set into a lightweight glazed element which links the two wings. This provides the new entrance with a strong, clear architectural statement.
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