BREEAM: Very Good
Award: Built in Quality Award 2011
Associated Architects was appointed to develop a campus strategy for Solihull College’s Blossomfield site. The existing campus had been developed and extended over time without a coherent masterplan strategy to define it and as a consequence was a compromised series of buildings with poor circulation legibility
The project aspiration was to give a new focus to the campus through new and refurbished buildings, providing an opportunity for the College to restate its vision of providing excellence in education.
The project brief required a significant new building which would accommodate a new College entrance, performing arts space, art and media studios, land based studies department. This building would provide 16,000sq.m of the College’s total 28,000sq.m campus spatial requirement.
The existing buildings were to be refurbished to provide upgraded business, management, professional, hair and beauty, and sports accommodation, as well as upgraded of general teaching spaces.
The new building is located on the site of the previous engineering and arts buildings, running parallel to the range of existing buildings with a combined entrance and foyer space connecting old and new. This solution creates a new coherence to the campus, and provides a secure courtyard for students to use, gather and study in. It provides a series of flexible spaces, wrapping the courtyard and bringing all of the disparate departments into one whole development. The use of mixed-mode ventilation, high insulation and high thermal mass in the new building make it inherently low energy; refurbishment of the existing building’s glazing systems, insulation and ventilation strategy allow it to perform to a high standard
The new building, aligned on a north-south axis, uses passive measures to shade the teaching spaces from unwanted heat gains, roof lights where practical and the high thermal mass provided by the insitu concrete frame to regulate the internal temperatures.
Given the need for flexibility and the ability to accommodate disparate uses such as art, reprographics, animal care, general teaching, IT suites, operating theatre, studios and workshops, a mixed-mode ventilation system was felt most appropriate in the new building.
The building is heated with a mixture of traditional radiator system, warm air ventilation and radiant panels. Building materials were selected in accordance with the Green Guide to Specification, using A rated materials where applicable, along with low water use fittings.
The construction work was undertaken in seven phases, allowing the College to remain open and functional during the construction phase.