Nicholas Hare Architects worked with BAM to design and build Medway's three new academy schools. The first new building is Strood Academy, a Business and Enterprise Academy and the intention of providing a relatively grown-up and business-like atmosphere was explicit in the brief. The Academy's sponsors are the University of Creative Arts and Medway Council.
The site for the new academy slopes southwards away from the A2 road. The building has an 'E' plan: its larger volumes on the north side buffer the road noise, while three teaching wings extend southwards from the main spine to define open courtyards overlooking the playing fields.
An orderly language of pale, textured brickwork reflects the 'grown-up' aspirations of the academy. Blue-glazed terracotta tiles clad the main hall at the 'head' of the building. Inside the hall itself has the air of a conference centre. Elsewhere, daylight and transparency characterise the interior.
The project was officially opened in December 2012 and has already been named Best New Building at the Medway Culture and Design Awards.
"An exciting building that will help us raise standards and engage the local community"
Richard Hart, Principal of Strood Academy