Written by Catherine West Marketing & Communications Manager

The award-winning £60m campus is the culmination of a brief that set out a vision for a statement building – a flagship facility to reflect the excellence of the College. The Campus, which was heralded by CABE as “one of the finest HE buildings in the country”, is the result of a collaborative design process from the project outset.

The award-winning £60m campus is the culmination of a brief that set out a vision for a statement building – a flagship facility to reflect the excellence of the College. The Campus, which was heralded by CABE as “one of the finest HE buildings in the country”, is the result of a collaborative design process from the project outset.

Sector(s)

  • Further Education

Value
£67m

Client(s)
South Cheshire College

Size
26,500m²

Location
Crewe, UK

Design

Our design is based on the concept of a village street, with departments functioning like shop fronts. The Street’s focal feature is a spectacular curved atrium, a large and expansive use of glass designed to create a sense of continuity between the natural environment outside, the Copse, and the human environment inside. An exciting glass and copper ‘skin’ envelop the street – the space is covered but light and open – a warm community space. With beautiful views, we wanted to avoid building walls or visual obstructions, instead we designed a moat as a means of ‘containing’ the site.

Go to Build

“Staff were involved from the onset of the project, predicting future requirements and drawing up the initial brief for the design team. Ideas were generated through secondary research, visits to other new buildings, case studies and focus groups.”

Staff Member, South Cheshire College

Build

The site lay adjacent to a residential area and so to avoid disruption we split the seven ‘blocks’ of the campus into seven smaller projects, each with its own project manager. Phased construction and a tight programme called for close collaboration and clear communication from all design team and consultant members. As the move into the new campus drew closer, the College held a conference for interested students which included a site visit. This fuelled valuable discussions about a number of ideas raised by the students - the issues discussed were as diverse as ‘being able to find your way around this large new building’ and ‘having a clear distinction between work and social areas’.

Go to In-use

“The result of all the hard work and dedication of everyone involved was a magnificent building, one which is still hailed as the most iconic further education building in the country. It is a very fitting building for a college which consistently achieves ‘outstanding’ in inspection rounds.”

Karen Gee, Former Director of Marketing and Operations South Cheshire College

In-use

We were committed to creating a campus that would be visually striking, welcoming, secure, sustainable and flexible for future changes – each element of equal importance. From the outset of the project we took a proactive approach to stakeholder engagement, treating staff and students as clients and collaborators. Our ambitious design was also a contemporary take on a tried and tested system – a street devoted to flexible, socially engaging work-place learning. This award-winning project was a joy to deliver and we’re thrilled that the scheme has been recognised by the CABE representative as ‘Creating the leading FE institution in the United Kingdom’.

“We are absolutely delighted with the final outcome. These facilities can only enhance the quality of teaching and learning that we provide at South Cheshire College and help students to achieve their goals and aspirations while they are with us”

Peter Swift, Former Principal, South Cheshire College

The Team

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