Work starts on site to deliver University-level Centre in Rotherham

Bond Bryan Architects are working with the RNN Group and contractor, Willmott Dixon to deliver a new university-level centre in Rotherham.

The centre, which is scheduled for completion during autumn 2018, is set to increase higher-level training opportunities for learners and employers, offering students and businesses greater access to Higher Education.

Bond Bryan Associate and Project Architect, John Hope explained: “Our proposed design is founded on the vision of creating a building that encourages and supports innovative forms of collaborative working and learning. It is envisaged that this will increasingly require more adaptive and flexible spaces that offer a range of potential working, meeting and learning environments – ranging from structured group discussions and facilitated presentation areas, through to more informal self-study areas. A key element of the building proposal has, therefore, been to develop a concept that offers the ability to create a diverse mix of spaces – from large, open-plan areas to more cellular classrooms – all supported by specialist teaching zones.

The response has been to create a simple L-shaped building plan that makes maximum use of the site’s public frontages to the north and east whilst creating a more enclosed social space to the south. Atriums have been cut into this simple form at the intersection of the L, not only enabling daylight to penetrate the floor plates, but, crucially, allowing views across the building, visually linking the activities on the different floors and creating a range of spaces – from contained single-storey spaces through to double- and triple-height open-plan spaces where necessary.

Our intention is to take reference from the surrounding buildings in form and colour, but to create a modern contemporary building that provides a high-quality statement for the College. A combination of a strong and simple palette of materials offers an efficient solution that draws upon the historic precedents set by the rich heritage provided by the context. However, careful consideration of the fenestration/cladding pattern, texture and colour of the design, reinterprets the traditional forms – creating a welcoming and exciting building that reflects the aspirations of the College.”

John Connolly, chief executive of RNN Group – which is the parent organisation for Rotherham College and the University Centre, Rotherham – said: “We are delighted to have taken a big step forward in delivering this fantastic project, which will offer so much to our region’s students and employers.”

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