A radical departure

26 Feb 2010

EllisWilliams Architects completes new FE College campus with support facilities

The form of the new College building responds to the client brief by retaining its roots in the simple Collegiate-type quad plan. The innovative use of break out spaces, interspersed with cellular class bases, creates additional agility for all departments. The position of refectory and social space either end of the quad seek to create visual interest and life to the space and the pitch area beyond. Large areas of glazing and voids within these spaces provide increased levels of activity and vertical integration between the spaces. The considered landscaping seeks to bring a sense of place to the quad as well as a visual point of reference / focus.

Throughout the building, spaces have been designed to reflect the precise requirements of each of the College departments. Circulation spaces have been modelled to provide interest and provide areas of active learning in order to deinstitutionalise the design. The design of the spaces incorporate glazed elements throughout to passively monitor behaviour. This concept is further echoed in the external appearance of the new building, whereby bold, simple lines seek to convey a forward-looking, technology driven College - one that embodies the dynamics of teaching and learning in the 21st Century. In support of this approach, a small palette of materials is utilised comprising lightweight rendered panels, grey terracotta cladding tiles and large areas of glazing. The use of grey powder coated aluminum windows seeks to reinforce the simplicity of the architectural language in the form of ribbon windows in strong contrast to the white rendered panels generally. Where possible, glazing is introduced to maximise daylight within the building and enable the use of natural ventilation. Atria and rooflights are further used to reinforce this concept.

The main college building achieved a very good BREEAM rating whilst the Construction Centre achieved an Excellent rating. Innovations include use of an intelligent building management system, thermal mass via concrete frame, natural ventilation, biomass boiler, rainwater harvesting and inclusion of a SUDS drainage system. The new building is a radical departure to the existing College education environment. The building respects its role as a key node with Community and presents a bold, exciting and forward looking image; a beacon of educational excellence.

Key Facts

United Kingdom

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