Nicholas Hare Architects developed the design around the concept of a hand, the atrium acting as a unifying device from which key internal and external areas are accessed. Curved open galleries within lead to three radiating learning wings providing most of the classroom accommodation.
The entrance atrium forms the heart of the building and the public face of the Academy. Above the reception area rises the distinctive conical form of the copper-clad chapel. It acts as a visible beacon reflecting the Christian ethos of the Academy.
The building is clad with a limited palette of materials. The ground floor is brickwork to provide a human scale to the Academy as well as being durable. Upper levels are clad with an insulated render system. The shingles to the chapel and the confident use of colour offer a lively counterpoint to the refined facades.
The cladding of the chapel was undertaken with real craftsmanship, the copper coated shingles gradually reducing in size to accommodate the conical shape reaching through the atrium roof. The sculpting of the chapel brings light pouring into the space from above. A single slot window with a coloured glass design provides a focus within the contemplative space.
All Saints’ Academy is a church school for the community in Cheltenham, UK. It provides secondary education for 900 pupils and 250 sixth formers.