Plans by a Birmingham-based architects have been approved a for a new college in Stoke that is set to kick-start a £250 million regeneration of the city.
Broadway Malyan, which is based in Interchange Place, has received outline planning permission for a £24 million scheme to build the relocated sixth form college, part of Phase One of Stoke-on-Trent’s “University Quarter” project.
The proposals will see the relocation and rebuild of Stoke Sixth Form College alongside the creation of Staffordshire University’s new Science Centre on a 10,000 sq metre site overlooking the junction of Leek Road and Station Road.
“The Sixth Form College ‘centre of excellence’ marks both the first tangible stage of a huge regeneration project within Stoke-on-Trent and also our relationship working within the University Quarter partnership on a number of innovative new projects,” said Aidan Ridyard, Director of Architecture for Broadway Malyan’s Birmingham office.
“We believe the iconic designs for this first scheme will take this type of educational facility to a new standard in the UK and make a clear statement of intent with regard to the city’s forward thinking attitude towards education, creativity and business as a whole.
According to Aidan, the plans utilise an array of architectural concepts to reflect the breadth of educational facilities and opportunities within, the Sixth Form College being centred on twin atria which are devised to reflect the varied facets of learning - one vibrant and extrovert, the other calm and considered.
“The larger will invite inquisitiveness by showcasing the college’s learning agenda within,” he said. “Colour and texture are used throughout the design to provide students with inspired break out areas to study, away from the more formalised arrangement of the classrooms.
“The smaller atrium is more intimate with the planned effect to be more soothing. Both of these public facing spaces will feature extensive glazing designed to reflect the College’s ethos of education being accessible to all.”
Detailed planning approval for the Sixth Form College is expected by the New Year with work commencing onsite thereafter. It is anticipated that the scheme will be completed in time for the beginning of the academic year in September 2010.
The University Quarter is an education-led regeneration project involving Staffordshire University, Stoke-on-Trent College and the City of Stoke-on-Trent Sixth Form College. Other strategic partners include Stoke-on-Trent City Council, North Staffordshire Regeneration Partnership, RENEW, North Staffs Learning and Skills Council, Advantage West Midlands and Sanctuary Housing Association.
Broadway Malyan is a leading international architectural and integrated design practice with offices throughout the UK and the world. It has a particular expertise in education, particularly from its Birmingham office, and is currently working on new Stourbridge and Bournville colleges amongst others.
The new Stourbridge College will be on a site overlooking the Merry Hill shopping centre in Brierley Hill whilst the new Bournville College will form the centrepiece of the multi-million pound transformation of the former Rover works at Longbridge by developer St Modwen.