Client Kent County Council
Location Maidstone, UK
2011 RIBA Regional Awards Finalist
2009 Partnerships for Schools Finalist
2008 Kent County Council: Best BSF Academy
New Line Learning Academy specialises in business, enterprise and vocational studies and is part of the New Line Learning Trust Federation of Academies.
The design consists of learning plazas containing science laboratories, art studios, music rooms, a nursery and a sports hall, all arranged around a central atrium, named the heartspace. This connects the learning plazas and provides maximum opportunity for breakout and flexibility. New Line Learning Academy was the first prototype to implement the learning plazas concept which provides inspiration for children through innovative design.
The academy was designed to have minimum impact on surrounding residential areas. In particular, the siting of the new school building has been screened from residential properties to the west and expansive views to the east.
The large volume teaching blocks of the learning plazas were designed as double-height spaces to promote natural lighting and ventilation.
Offices were deliberately located on the mezzanine levels to encourage supervision and a more intimate environment for teaching and learning.
A proprietary framed aluminium curtain walling system creates a random pattern to resemble patterns of natural mature foliage. A sophisticated lighting system within the plazas enables coloured lighting to be adapted to suit different teaching and learning environments.