Corby Business Academy

Foster + Partners, Corby, 2008


Subscribe now to instantly view this image

Subscribe to the Architects’ Journal (AJ) for instant access to the AJ Buildings Library, an online database of nearly 2,000 exemplar buildings in photographs, plans, elevations and details.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

The school places visibility at the heart of its design to minimise bullying and vandalism 

Nigel Young (website)     Download Original

  • The school places visibility at the heart of its design to minimise bullying and vandalism    
  • The building is a long, two-storey street which uses a lot of glass, much of it double-glazed partitions    
  • Double-height central atrium space    
  • Circulatory staircases between the ground and first floor classrooms    
  • The Ege carpet made for a sudden, significant acoustic difference    
  • A Schüco glazed curtain walling system and polished blockwork from Fyfestone envelope the building    
  • Site plan    
  • Ground floor plan    
  • First floor plan    
  • Section    
  • Materials board, including bespoke carpet, stainless steel handrail and handle, lime paint, textured paving, polished black blockwork and textured silver blockwork    
  • The site during construction. As the concrete frame was going up, workshops allowed the team to work on refining details    
  • Overview of the site during construction    
  • Visualisation of the external envelope prior to construction    
  • Lightwell detail    

Replacement of an existing community college with a 1250 pupil academy with a specialism in ‘Business and Enterprise’, organised across five different faculties

The design concept for the Academy responded to two key criteria: housing the organisational structure required to teach the proposed curricula, and recognising the strategic importance of the school in a larger masterplan for the area.

The completed Academy forms one side of a new public square, providing a semi-public focus for the community that encourages interaction between the school and its surroundings.

The building is organised around the five faculties, which house the tutorial care and teaching facilities and are accessed through a communal full-length double-height atrium space that is top-lit.

Fully-glazed facades allow views out from the classrooms to the exterior gardens areas, and full-length light shafts supply added natural light and ventilation to the ground-floor classrooms, with operable roof panels allowing cross ventilation to the first-floor rooms.

First-floor faculty offices overlook the faculty entrances, ensuring optimum visibility and control of the circulation and study spaces. Each of the individual faculties has its own open stairs, circulation galleries, and toilet facilities, which lead off the main circulation spaces.


  • Begun: Jan 2008
  • Completed: Aug 2008
  • Floor area: 11,600m2
  • Sector: Education
  • Total cost: £30M
  • Procurement: JCT 98 Private with Quantities + Contractor Design Portion Supplements
  • Address: Corby Business Academy, Academy Way, Gretton Road, Corby, NN17 5EB, United Kingdom


AJBL Sponsor

Armstrong World Industries

A global leader in providing customised, multi material ceiling and wall solutions

Find out more