Open Academy Norwich, England Building, Project, News, Design, Property, Image

Open Academy Norwich : Norfolk School

Education Development by Sheppard Robson in Norfolk, England, UK

27 Apr 2009

Open Academy


Design: Sheppard Robson Architects

Norfolk’s first Academy, the Sheppard Robson designed Open Academy in Norwich, has started on site. The project, delivered through the Government’s Academies Framework, offers a timely boost for Schools and Colleges across the United Kingdom.

Open Academy Norwich

Kier Education is developing the £20m scheme for Norfolk County Council, along with support from two sponsors – local businessman Graham Dacre and the Rt Rev Graham James, the Bishop of Norwich.

The 9,000m² Academy will specialise in engineering and the environment, reflected in Sheppard Robson’s highly sustainable design. The scheme is a cross-laminated timber structural system that will significantly reduce the buildings carbon footprint. Prefabrication will also minimise erection time and wastage, saving an estimated 3,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide, equivalent to 12.5 million car miles.

The curved plan of the main building was considered as a series of concentric bands: the outer perimeter houses the main teaching and learning accommodation to maximise the potential for natural daylight, views and ventilation; the inner band provides the main circulation route, stacked as a series of open balconies that wrap around the central Open Forum. The simple and efficient plan creates opportunities for active engagement between different teaching departments.

Gavin Robinson, associate at Sheppard Robson, is pleased to see his team starting on site: “Getting on site at the Norfolk Academy has given everyone in our team a huge boost. Following funding shortfalls in other educational delivery programmes, the progression of the Academies Framework through the economic downturn provides an optimistic sign for the education sector.”

“The Academies Framework focuses on creating radical improvements in educational outcomes and raising educational achievement. This influenced our design for the School’s form and function; a fully integrated environment to encourage transformational opportunities for educational development. The fact the building will also become BREEAM Excellent and one the most sustainable Academy’s in the country has helped realise the projects construction. We are excited about demonstrating the vast potential of sustainable design through the use of timber based construction”

The 73-week first phase is due for completion in September 2010 when students will decant from the existing school, which will then be demolished as part of the second phase landscaping. This will also include further environmental measures such as the creation of a pond and external classroom pods. The existing School Hall will be reused for an additional educational Mechanical facility, within the Phase 2 development.

Open Academy Norwich information from Sheppard Robson Architects

Open Academy Norwich


New English Architecture

Contemporary Architecture in England

English Architecture Designs – chronological list

English Houses

English Architect – design firm listings

English Hotel Buildings

English School Buildings – Selection

The Waingels College, Wokingham, Berkshire
Sheppard Robson
The Waingels College
picture from architect
The Waingels College

Westminster Academy – Naim Dangoor Centre, London
Allford Hall Monaghan Morris
Westminster Academy
photograph © Tim Soar
Westminster Academy

Langley Academy, Slough, Berkshire
Foster + Partners
Langley Academy Slough
photo : Nigel Young, Foster + Partners
Langley Academy Slough

English Architect

Original release from Sheppard Robson: Norfolk Academy : design competition winner

College of West Anglia Norfolk

Norwich design competition

Buildings by Sheppard Robson

Liverpool Teaching Hospital

One Westminster Place

Spinningfields Manchester

Hangzhou development

Comments / photos for the Open Academy Norwich England Architecture page welcome

Open Academy Norwich Building