De Warenne Academy, Doncaster
Thanks to the success of Campsmount Technology College, used as the case study for the key recommendations of The Sebastian James Education Capital Spending Review, CPMG and Wates secured a further two academy projects in Doncaster.
De Warenne Academy originally comprised of tired late 20th century buildings. Largely beyond their useful life (particularly in access and environmental terms) and of no architectural significance, a replacement school with an area of approximately 5,300m2, sits alongside the retained sports hall and teaching block.
The hilltop site benefits from excellent views over the surrounding landscape, including the scheduled 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 plan form reinforces this connection by locating the four principal learning zones in a striking position on the edge of the plateau to capitalise on the views, and by establishing history and geography accommodation at first floor to maximise the inherent educational potential.
The detailed design of the elevations incorporates elements which reflect a defensive castle-like architecture, and these are used to good effect to contrast with large open areas of glazing promoting a welcoming aspect.
The arrangement of the accommodation 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 linking these two wings. This provides a strong and clear, architectural statement at the new Academy entrance.
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