AHR has completed the redevelopment of Oldham College in Greater Manchester which includes three new buildings and landscaping.
The new buildings lie to the north-west of Oldham town centre and were built over three phases creating a student centric campus which responds to an employment focussed education curriculum.
The first phase, Building A is a five storey building with teaching spaces and social breakaway spaces for students. The building works as an anchor for the College and celebrates the main approach to the campus from the town centre.
The second building, Digital and Creative Centre Oldham, is a four storey building which is a combination of open plan teaching spaces and traditional classrooms. The use of light is a key aspect of the design of this building, and the creation of well-lit and airy spaces for the creative subjects the students study a critical outcome from AHR’s design process. Environmental performance is further enhanced by the design of the ventilation system, which exceeds the specifications set by the Department for Education Building Bulletins.
Building C delivers new teaching areas over three storeys and defines a valuable green external social space placed centrally in the campus. Internal spaces are specially designed for vocational subjects along with further general teaching accommodation.
All three buildings have been rated BREEAM Excellent. The buildings have also reduced the heating emission across the campus by 30%.
AHR used graphite coloured concrete and dark brickwork to clad the buildings, complemented by metallic grey window units, chosen for their weather resistance.
AHR created a new public frontage leading towards the town centre, a central courtyard space for students to socialise and flexibility in the masterplan to develop a full size Sport England 3G all-weather-pitch. The grounds of the college have also been extended and improved to re-instate a civic heart in the campus around the pre-existing central courtyard.
The college was founded in 1893 and continues to be an important institution for the town and surroundings areas. The design of the campus was to ensure that it could easily be adapted and evolve in the future. The buildings produced are of educational and architectural significance which will transform the delivery of learning in Oldham College.
Imran Kassim, Regional Director at AHR, said: ”The ambition of the College is clearly reflected in the development of the campus. Our task has been to channel that ambition into buildings that are sufficient, suitable and sustainable both now and will be for years to come.
Alun Francis, Oldham College’s Principal and Chief Executive, said: “AHR have been a fantastic partner to the College, helping us to articulate what we wanted and supporting our transformational plan for learning. Their knowledge and expertise combined with excellent ideas ensured that we were able to successfully deliver our ambition. This redevelopment has changed the relationship between the College and the town as well as providing a much improved quality environment for learning. The architects helped us to develop a faculty model with bespoke facilities which better utilised space and created a more sustainable campus. They exceeded our expectations which enables us to focus on delivering outstanding vocational education to ensure that our students gain the skills, knowledge and experience they need to progress in life and work.”