Open Academy Norwich Building: Norfolk School

Open Academy Norwich, Building Norfolk, East Anglia Architecture, English Project, Design, Image

Norwich Academy

Educational Development, Norfolk, southeast England, UK – design by Sheppard Robson

14 Nov 2008

Open Academy Norwich


Design: Sheppard Robson

Norfolk School Building

Sheppard Robson has won a competition to design the new 9,000m² Open Academy in Norwich – the first in Norfolk. The bidding team, led by Kier Education, won the bid to transform the existing 1960’s, Heartsease High School through the Academies Framework.

Open Academy Norwich Norwich Academy

The design draws upon the aeronautical history of the site and the engineering and environmental specialist status of the Academy, by conceiving the building as a series of mechanical components. The elevations are expressed in horizontal terms, using the timber cladding, the strip windows and the stepped terraces to evoke a dynamic quality in the building’s form.

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.

The innovative design for the Academy includes the implementation of a cross laminated timber system as its structural core, reducing the building’s carbon footprint. The timber comes from sustainably managed forests, creates minimal waste and is fabricated to high tolerances.

Gavin Robinson, associate at Sheppard Robson, comments: “The Open Academy is an important win for us – broadening our educational experience, a first Academy in Norfolk and the opportunity to further demonstrate the vast potential of sustainable design through the use of timber based construction.”

Open Academy Norwich images / information from Sheppard Robson

Address: Open Academy, Salhouse Road, Norwich, NR79DL

Contact: 01603 481 640 /

Open Academy Norwich design : Sheppard Robson

Location:Salhouse Road, Norwich, NR79DL

Architecture in Norfolk Area

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photograph : David Butler

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Open Academy Norwich architect : Sheppard Robson

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Norfolk Academy Building – page


Website: Norfolk