A socially inclusive learning environment

  • Several buildings unified into a single block
  • Facilities shared with the local community
  • A significant provision of multi-use space

I am absolutely delighted with the design of our new school.

Maureen Strudwick
Former principal, Thomas Clarkson Academy

Project Details

Location Wisbech, UK
Status Built 2012
Sectors Education and research, , Interiors
Area 16,000m²/172,200ft²
Client Kier Eastern on behalf of Equitix and Cambridgeshire County Council

Our design for this secondary school in Wisbech has transformed it into a dynamic learning facility that’s making a weighty impact on the local community.

The tailor-made academy is part new-build, part refurbishment. We replaced the disparate collection of buildings with a single block unified by a dramatic multi-use space. This highly adaptable space, known as Eden, forms the heart of the school, with all facilities leading off it. It’s large enough to accommodate all 2,000 pupils, and can be used for assemblies, events and dining; it can also be broken down into smaller configurations for private study or small group teaching. At three storeys high, Eden draws the eye upwards and contains one of the tallest climbing walls in East Anglia.

We incorporated a number of energy-saving features into our design, including the use of cross-laminated timber, which has resulted in negative CO2 emissions from the structural materials due to the sequestration of carbon in construction.

The school – which acquired academy status in 2012 – shares its sports and theatre facilities with the Wisbech community, creating a much-needed amenity for the area. It’s seen a significant increase in the number of students staying on to take A levels since its redevelopment – just one of the positive influences it’s had on the local population.