Abraham Darby Academy Opens in Telford
Abraham Darby Academy has opened in Telford, Shropshire, following the opening of the 420 place Woodlands Primary School and the Abraham Darby Sports and Leisure Centre earlier in the year. Working with Kier, BDP provided full architectural, engineering and design services for this 1,030 place academy which is set on a sloping site at the gateway to the Ironbridge World Heritage Site.
Sponsored by the Haberdashers’ Livery Company, the design articulates the different elements as a series of linked pavilions stepping down the hill. The primary school is sited on the high level plateau, with its own entrance and south facing garden – reflecting its ethos of ‘learning by doing’. The academy is composed as a formal collegiate block, with performing arts (one of the academy’s specialisms along with business and enterprise) at the heart of the school. Its foursquare traditional form reflects the Haberdashers’ ethos of ‘enlightened traditionalism’. The leisure centre (to which it is linked) is set to its side, with substantial areas of glazing allowing users to see in and out. The centre includes a fitness suite, studios, a sports hall and a 25 metre swimming pool with moveable depth floor.
The design has been developed to the highest environmental standards and has a host of sustainable features including on site CHP generation and an anaerobic digester for organic waste. As designed it achieves a BREEAM excellent rating and generates a 64% carbon reduction over current Part L2 requirements.