Client: Oldham Council
Location: Oldham, Greater Manchester
Construction Value: £25.5m
The 1,200 place Oldham Academy North is located on an existing school site.
Even though the site has been used as a school for a number of years it was not without its constraints. An undersized site set below the adjacent road level, divided into two by a public right of way and with extensive wooded slopes.
OOBE embraced these constraints to developed a masterplan that made every space work hard and had multiple functions wherever possible to maximise the external learning environment.
A grand arrival to 21st century learning
Accessibility was a priority with a 6m level change between the site and the building entrance, 36 steps and an integrated ramp create a grand approach leading to a generous plaza.
Aside from access, the approach is used by the school for groups to gather and view performances in the plaza below. Through a series of workshops, pupils were involved in the design which saw their ideas translated into proposals for the informal play areas.
Through careful masterplanning, the external learning spaces associated with the school have been maximised to allow for flexibility for classes and to create strong internal to external learning environments for the pupils.