Kettering Science Academy


Kettering Science Academy was the sample scheme for the Northamptonshire County Council academies programme. The new building accommodates 1100 pupils from Years 7 to 11, with a further 250 sixth-form students.

The design strongly reflects the philosophy of its sponsor, the Brooke Weston Trust, reinforcing the trust's tenets of community, equality and mutual respect. The main entrance, under an imposing canopy, is at the academy's upper floor level. Two-storey teaching wings are arranged around a large circular courtyard, which is overlaid with a secondary elliptical geometry, forming the focus for the library, restaurant, theatre and main circulation routes.

Each teaching wing comprises a generous, double-height open learning area, lit from above by north-facing rooflights. Fully-glazed classroom walls flank this space on either side.

An innovative strategy of low energy design was coupled with energy-efficient services solutions including ground source heat pumps and Termodeck planks.

All of the people involved in this building have delivered a vision that will sustain, encourage and improve the standards of education over the months and years ahead.
Sir Peter Simpson, Brooke Weston Trust

A geotechnical review concluded that ground source heat pumps would be an appropriate means of providing both heating and cooling to the building. Incoming air is tempered using the ground source pumps and distributed around the building using Termodeck planks – hollow core precast concrete slabs through which air can be circulated. The planks were left exposed throughout the building to provide thermal mass.

The reaction from pupils and staff was fantastic when they walked through the doors for the first time
Martin Campbell, Former Principal
If the school itself fulfils the promise of the building then it truly will be an outstanding and excellent school.
Sir Peter Simpson, Brooke Weston Trust

Our Team

  • Paul Baxter
  • Rohit Madan
  • Charles Page
  • Ruth Saxton
  • Sarah Williams

Project Team

  • Client: Northamptonshire County Council
  • Client: Brooke Weston Trust
  • Structural Engineer: Cox Turner Morse
  • Services Engineer: WSP Group
  • Landscape Architect: DSA Environment + Design
  • Acoustician: Sound Research Laboratores
  • Fire Engineer: WSP Group
  • Contractor: Willmott Dixon
  • Photography: Alan Williams


  • Commendation: Civic Trust Awards