Project - Highfields Spencer Academy
Sector - Education
Technology - Offsite
Company - Lungfish Architects
Highfields Spencer Academy is a colourful 15,510 square foot school that provides 210 primary places, and 30 nursery places, to the brand-new Highfields Farm community on the outskirts of Derby. As Section 106 funding required the school to be open and operational by September 2020, comprehensive engagement meetings identified modular construction as the best solution. Submitted to planning officials within six weeks of the first meeting, construction took just 44 weeks to complete. The school handed over early, under budget, and with zero RIDDORs – all despite the restrictions and challenges posed by COVID-19 – ready for the September term. Built entirely offsite, Highfields is constructed from 45 modules, of which there are three bespoke modules that are not repeated elsewhere, meaning that only 6% of the building is custom-built. In total, the school features eight spacious classrooms, each enjoying access to the outdoors with their own dedicated area. Fronting a public square, the double-height main hall and its colourful windows can be used by the community outside of school hours. The windows are completely flat to the façade, with some very careful geometry and execution to generate animation from all angles.