The academy forms a seven level interactive learning environment in a dense inner city multi-ethnic site alongside the Regent’s Canal. Galleried learning space is set around a social gathering area and learning hub. A sweeping structural arch supports the centre of the school, allowing the learning space to be column free and totally flexible. Teaching terraces extend the internal learning space as outdoor classrooms overlooking the canalside environment. The form of the building has been designed to minimise energy use by maximising daylight to the teaching spaces and it is predominantly naturally ventilated”.
The Academy opened in 2007 and this year it won the Big Society Award for Education and making a difference in one of the most economically disadvantaged parts of London, where 40% of students speak English as a second language. One of the goals has been to increase motivation and encourage a culture of aspiration and responsibility. New schools that are designed to be an important part of the local community can revitalise whole neighbourhoods.