John Port Spencer Academy Post 16 Centre

Post-16 sixth form centre secondary education glazed brick zinc cladding buff brick colonnade

This wonderful Post 16 building was completed in early 2024. The project is one of 5 phases of work to expand a large secondary school in Derbyshire. The finished building provides new classrooms, seminar rooms, study spaces, and a large social area.

Thinking Buildings were initially appointed by the Spencer Academy Trust to develop a site-wide masterplan to expand the John Port Spencer Academy school in order to provide additional pupil places. The eventual masterplan includes the Post 16 building, a new large car park, internal remodelling of an existing administrative and art building to create additional teaching space, a new dining building, and a new science building. The car park and art phases are complete, and the construction of the new science building is about to start, following the successful completion of this Post 16 building. 

The Post 16 project had a challenging set of constraints, with a severely sloping site and the need to connect to and refurbish an existing CLASP system build. The end result successfully knits the new and old buildings together, creating a strong new identity and focal point for the 6th form provision at the school. 

The new building introduces a bold new aesthetic to the campus with the collonaded front elevation providing a mature collegiate feel. The colonnade covers a set of external steps that connect the two floors of accommodation together, and the steps include seating to provide an external social area. The colonnade is clad in dark grey zinc cladding that contrasts beautifully with the light coloured render, buff brickwork, and the stunning blue glazed brickwork. 

It was a lovely moment for us at the opening ceremony as our team member Jess Moore, a former student at the school, was asked to officially open the building. Jess was instrumental in delivering the technical design.

This project provides the additional accommodation needed to expand the school, meeting the functional educational needs whilst also providing an exciting and bold new identity for this expanding school. 

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