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Abraham Darby Sport & Learning Academy, Telford by BDP

[FIRST LOOK] BDP has won the commission to design the new Abraham Darby Sport & Learning Academy at Ironbridge in Telford

The design combines a 1,050-place Academy, sponsored by the Haberdashers’ Livery Company, with a 420-place primary school and a community leisure centre, set on a sloping site at the gateway to the Ironbridge World Heritage Site.

The winning design articulates the three different elements (primary school, academy and leisure) as a series of linked pavilions stepping down the hill. The Primary School is sited on the high-level plateau, with its own entrance and south facing garden – reflecting its ethos of ‘learning by doing’. The Academy is composed as a formal ‘collegiate’ block, with Performing Arts (the Academy’s specialism) at the heart of the school, its foursquare traditional form reflecting the Haberdashers’ ethos of ‘enlightened traditionalism’. The Leisure Centre (to which it is linked) is set to its side, with substantial areas of glazing allowing users to see in and out and promote the Council’s ‘wellness’ agenda.

It achieves a BREEAM excellent rating and generates a 64 per cent carbon reduction

The design has been developed to the highest environmental standards and has sustainable features including on site CHP (combined heat and power) generation and an anaerobic digester for organic waste. As designed it achieves a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating and generates a 64 per cent carbon reduction over current Part L2 requirements.

BDP is appointed as architect, landscape architect, civil and structural engineer, mechanical, electrical and environmental engineer, lighting designer and acoustic consultant. The building will be submitted for planning at the start of November, with start on site planned for March 2010.

Project Director Gavin Elliott commented: ‘We are thrilled and excited to have won this project. The site, the brief and the stakeholders all demanded a really high quality, innovative design solution. We are delighted that they believe our solution fits the bill! We have put a lot of effort into the bid stage, and are now looking forward to working with them over the next months and years to realise the vision.’

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