Blackburn Central High School with Crosshill.

Blackburn, UK

Mark Hagger, Partner at Hoare Lea

Project Lead:
Mark Hagger

Connecting cultures, for futures.

A space that allows culturally different schools to merge together successfully is a true test of design. The Blackburn Central High School project involved the amalgamation of three schools into one building.

Passive potential.

The school’s energy strategy was centred around using passive means to reduce consumption. A significant funding stream was available if we could demonstrate an annual CO₂ consumption of less than 27kg/m². A 550kW biomass boiler is the lead heating source and, when possible, this is used the meet the full heating needs of the building. Large roof lights and a glazed clerestory bring natural light into a ‘heart’ space, maximising natural daylight while minimising solar gain.

Many of the architectural features are driven by the desire to incorporate natural ventilation. Our designs were focused on the drive for lower energy usage. Perimeter rooms and the triple-height atrium allows for cross-flow ventilation while feature wind-catchers provide natural ventilation to the sports hall throughout the year.

Traditional, transitional and transformational.

The client wanted a school that could adapt to the different teaching styles; traditional, transitional, and transformational. We designed the classroom conditions to reflect this – light, airy, and controllable – without being too technical or demanding. We also crafted the services to give the school the flexibility to accommodate subsequent adjustments to classroom sizes. Ultimately, Blackburn Central High School is a building about – and for – futures.

Key Figures
3 Existing schools amalgamated into one building
80% Of school's heating needs met by biomass boiler
550kW Biomass boiler as lead heating source