Northampton International Academy, Northampton

Navigating the school is like walking around a hilltop town

Northampton International Academy
Northampton International Academy Credit: Luke Hayes

East Midlands RIBA Regional Award 2019

Architecture Initiative for Northamptonshire County Council
Contract value: £33.4m
GIA: 22,250m²
Cost per m²: £1501

Architecture Initiative has taken a moribund early 1980s brutalist postal sorting office and created a 2,200-pupil academy. Boldly chopping lightwells through the slab, it’s introduced a clear language of new teaching interventions, with oversized lecture and music boxes articulating cafeteria and break out spaces. These are filled with light and surrounded by new workshops celebrating the scale of the former sorting office. Well-designed grand staircases help orientation in this vast building. Navigating the school is like walking around a hilltop town, with glimpsed views to different years’ levels; the seniors inhabiting the uppermost part. Here too is a stylish new addition, the old canteen and terrace now a spectacular plywood-clad sports hall – the citadel crowning this urban meander.

  • Northampton International Academy
    Northampton International Academy Credit: Luke Hayes
  • Northampton International Academy
    Northampton International Academy Credit: Luke Hayes
  • Northampton International Academy
    Northampton International Academy Credit: Luke Hayes
  • Northampton International Academy
    Northampton International Academy Credit: Will Scott
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