Appleton Academy

Structural Designer


Client Name

Integrated Bradford


Bradford, United Kingdom

Images: © Sanna Fisher-Payne / Commission Air


The academy explores a radically different approach to school learning, providing a continuum from nursery to sixth form. It interlinks seamlessly the three phases of schooling, lower, middle and upper, in a single circular building around a naturally landscaped garden. Learners grow clockwise around the circle, with the building stepping up in scale as they progress. The refectory, cafe and staff hub form a portal in the outer circle, aligned to the panoramic views across the Pennines.

Judge's comment:

The judges were impressed by the way the structural development of this very attractive building helped to shape its overall design. The use of a 9m by 9m steel grid and composite construction gave the flexibility required to grow the scale of the building to match that of its occupants as they grow from 5 to 18 years of age. The expressed structure of the roof and stairs gave a series of ’wow’ factors in a cost effective way.