Oasis Academy Trust/ DfES/ Gleeson Building
Completed - 2008
9,600 sqm/ £18.5m
As part of the current Academies initiative the Oasis Trust were project sponsor, alongside the DfES, on the Immingham project. Accommodating 200-250 sixth form students, the Academy’s specialism is in Engineering and Commerce, with an ‘education for life’ focus that ensures relevance to both those students wanting to achieve vocational qualifications, as well as those wishing to follow a more academic route.
The building intentionally faces the town centre. This is a clear strategy to address the existing lack of a ‘civic’ entrance for the school. The town lacks a real social centre and areas of public realm that are attractive and welcoming places to be. The creation of an outdoor space for the community is achieved by stepping the building edge back from the road. A green belt cuts across the front of the site, as an extension of the adjacent park area, leading to a new civic square in the north-west corner of the site, the ‘town square’.
The double height glazed entrance and dining area face this square. As well as being the dining area for the school, this has also been designed to facilitate community use. The restaurant will be the first experience for many when using the Academy's facilities; perhaps to enjoy a snack, or to attend a meeting of a community group. Immediately beyond the main reception is the double height agora space.
The agora is surrounded by many of the larger social spaces, including the cyber cafe, library, main hall, sports hall, and the dining area. Opportunities exist for activities in the surrounding spaces to spill into and enliven the agora; the main hall can be opened up to the agora to cater for large assemblies and public gatherings; and food prepared by students in the adjacent food rooms could be served directly into the agora for the public for an event or open day.