Client: Oldham Council
Location: Oldham, Greater Manchester
Construction Value: £22.5m
The creation of a new 1,500 place Oasis Academy in Oldham had its challenges. The location of a former Colliery and Mill, the site is undersized with an existing public right of way, a 14m level change across it and a collection of existing mature trees – not the obvious place for a new school!
Our landscape design transformed these challenges into opportunities for sport and learning. The public right of way has informed the design of a wide boulevard stretching the length of the site where the business and enterprise specialism can come to life in the form of a market place and outdoor events space.
A diverse outdoor environment for community learning
Level changes have been manipulated to create traversing walls, a series of viewing terraces and amphitheatres, a trim trail and sports pitches. Our design offers a staggering amount of choice and variety to pupils, staff and the community in how they engage with the external environment; from whole school sporting events to an individual practicing a music recital in one of the outdoor covered rehearsal spaces.
Across all 3 schemes; Oasis Academy, Waterhead Academy and Oldham Academy North, a vast array of sporting provision was provided. The external learning spaces have been maximised, turning the constraints into a variety of flexible external learning spaces.
“Oldham Council has worked with OOBE as part of £70m funding package through the Academies framework and Willmott Dixon the main contractor. OOBE understood the briefs. They responded imaginatively to the history of the site, site constraints, budget constraints and submitted designs that are creative, inspiring, innovative and provided spaces that are interesting to children.
Mike led a workshop event with primary children to establish their desires and ideas for an external terrace in the new building which proved to be valuable in the final design. He is always open to re-visit any design to ensure that the functionality of the spaces and learning aspects are maximised.”
Vicki Di Stasi, Principal Regeneration Officer, BSF & Academies Team at Oldham Council