Birmingham Ormiston Academy

Birmingham Ormiston Academy is an independent state funded 14-19 Academy specialising in Digital Media, Creative and Performing Arts

The Academy is located in the heart of the Eastside Learning Quarter at the hub of the digital and creative industries in the West Midlands.

The Academy is sponsored by the Ormiston Trust and Birmingham City University and supported by partners Maverick Television and the BRIT school.

The Academy offers superb facilities and robust flexible infrastructure for academic, vocational and extra-curricular activities, including a theatre, TV studio, radio suite, editing facilities and a recording studio sponsored by the BRIT Trust. In addition to four dance and six rehearsal spaces, there are also general academic teaching spaces. The Academy is a regional centre of excellence for students from Birmingham and the wider West Midlands region, training students for the creative industry.

Civic Presence

An early design decision was to position the building on the site to provide a new public square in front of the main entrance, set back and sheltered from the main road, providing external performance space and heightening the sense of drama on arrival at the building. This is complemented by a 13 x 5m screen on the theatre façade that advertises and celebrates the digital media specialism and inner workings of the Academy to the outside world.


The Academy wanted a building that didn’t feel like a school when walking through the front door and more like an entertainment venue. This was achieved by providing a vibrant atrium foyer and dining space at the heart of the building off which the key performance spaces can be accessed at the ground and first floor.

This is definitely the place to be. It’s brand new, the facilities are amazing. I might even try to record my second album here, it’s that good.
Jessie J, opening the Brit Trust recording studio
A very impressive building, just what Birmingham needed to bring out the great talent in the area
Tony Christie

Our Team

Project Team

  • Client: Birmingham City Council
  • Client: Ormiston Trust
  • Sponsors: Birmingham City University and BRIT School
  • Cost Consultant: Lend Lease
  • Services Engineer: RPS Gregory
  • Structural Engineer: Nolan Assocaites
  • Access Consultant: Access = Design
  • Theatre Consultant: Smith & Lovegrove
  • Fire Engineer: Tenos
  • Contractor: Lend Lease
  • Photography: Alan Williams photography