Planning permission granted for Oaklands College circular design
Oaklands College has received planning permission from St Albans District Council for a new-build college designed by Bond Bryan Architects. The college is amalgamating its current separate sites in Borehamwood, St Albans City Campus and Welwyn Garden City into a central campus at St Albans Smallford.
Bond Bryan has designed a central hub of 30,000 sq m, which will have a total build budget of approximately £100 million.
Matt Hutton, Project Architect says: “The college’s existing buildings cannot be adapted to provide an appropriate 21st Century learning environment, so the new college will become a central campus for all students. The central hub will feature a large social space and a learning zone, whilst the three distinct wings coming off the hub will focus on different areas of the curriculum.
“Each wing will also feature its own learning cluster, housing resources for each of the subjects in an area through which students pass to reach their learning zones.”
The central hub will be a three-storey construction whilst the wings are each two storeys.
“This will be on the edge of the green belt, so to achieve planning permission we have had to ensure the design sits low, in line with existing buildings nearby,” says Project Architect, Tim Justice.
The equine centre incorporated in the design is Bond Bryan's first and will be used to attract athletes to stay there during London 2012 Olympics.
The new college will also have a small and large animal care unit, in an existing building which is being refurbished, along with a 19th Century walled garden for the horticulture department.
The new college will feature leading-edge sustainability facilities such as a ground source heat pump which will heat the majority of the building, solar collectors to heat the sports hall hot water supply, both green and brown roofs and light shelves to reflect natural light into the building, reducing the need for artificial light.
The project starts on-site in January 2009 and will be finished for students to arrive in early 2011. The Contractor is Verry Construction and the Project Managers are GVA Grimley.