Trinity 6th Form Academy
Direct link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghNhZZ2rmlY
ARCHITECTURE: Education Building or Project
Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council
The new Trinity 6th Form Academy is an excellent example of how existing buildings can be revitalised to help regenerate town centres. Located in the town centre of Halifax, West Yorkshire, the Trinity 6th Form Academy is the first phase of a regeneration project to redevelop the 1980s Northgate House complex previously home to the Council’s offices and the public library.Vacant since 2017 when the council relocated their offices and the library service moved into a bespoke new facility designed by LDN, the buildings were earmarked for demolition as a ‘problem site’ after potential redevelopment proposals for a retail centre fell through. Instead, the Council embraced the radical idea to redevelop the existing buildings and house a 6th Form Academy in the town centre, rather than on a green-field out-of-town campus. LDN was engaged to reimagine the Northgate House complex as an active mixed-use development and learning facility which could enliven and contribute to the town centre’s public life and economy.The 6th Form Academy provides state-of-the-art learning facilities for 600 students within the former library building. The existing defensive and windowless facades were opened with new curtain walling to bring in natural light and ventilation to the teaching spaces. The high-spec glass and pigmented zinc cladding, alongside restored stone cladding, provide street presence and identity for the academy, reactivating a previously blank street frontage at pavement level.A key consideration was to maximise reuse of the existing building fabric, retaining the embodied energy of its concrete frame and taking advantage of its thermal mass as part of a BMS controlled natural ventilation strategy. A new full-height atrium formed to bring light and air into the centre of the plan and create a university-style central study hub. The atrium provides the stack effect for the natural ventilation and is finished with an acoustic slatted oak lining. New insulation, low-energy services and LED lighting further minimise the building’s energy usage.The design is the result of close collaboration between LDN, the Client and Trinity Academy to produce an exciting and modern learning environment for students in line with the Council's transformational vision for a revitalised town centre. The main interior spaces provide a contemporary 'university' or 'office' style environment for students to support the college's role as a stepping stone between school and further education or employment.