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Cornwall College

St Austell, UK

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View 3 Quad Stair
View 9 Building 2 High angle UPDATED
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View 5 Quad from B2
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project overview

Transforming the campus to create an inspirational and sustainable learning environment

The new St Austell Campus at Cornwall College will support the college’s long-term vision of providing a refreshed further education environment which puts practical learning first.

Our design includes the replacement of several existing buildings, and the design of two new buildings, strategically positioned to create a more connected and dynamic campus.

Building one will accommodate the facilities for a range of vocational subjects, such as a restaurant and hair and beauty salons, and building two for healthcare and engineering subjects.

Combining our masterplanning, architecture, landscape design services, our overall design will provide students at Cornwall College with a smart, sustainable and flexible campus that is fit for the future.

Enscape Aerial View 3 Masterplan

the masterplan

Designed to support the college’s desired learning outcomes

The connection between the new and existing buildings was key to creating a successful masterplan design. To deliver our client’s brief, building one creates a new sense of arrival, visibility and identity, a gateway building welcoming visitors on their approach. Whilst boasting fantastic views over St Austell and out to sea. Building two will sit within the existing car park, providing easy accessibility to the rest of the campus.

A new central quad space which will become the ‘heart’ of the campus, a series of communal spaces will also be incorporated to create a functional yet linked journey throughout.

Our design will enable prominent yet simple routes of pedestrian connection between departments across the site, encouraging students and teachers to engage seamlessly with the campus. This helps to create a more enjoyable and positive experience for students as they embark upon further education.

View 3 Quad Stair
View 6 Quad Dining New Canopy Fade
View 4 Quad Canopy Canopy fade
View 9 Building 2 High angle UPDATED

landscape concept

Forging connectivity and collaboration through the landscape

Key to the landscape design is the central quad, acting as a connector between the new and existing buildings and bringing people across the college together.

The community-building hub of the campus will also be key in enabling smoother movement across the teaching buildings, as students travel to and from different departments.

A roofed cover space will be incorporated, to encourage people to continue to spend time outside regardless of the unpredictable Cornish weather.

Taking advantage of the biodiversity of the site, our design includes external planting which also helps to improve people's sense of wellbeing whilst creating strategic enclosures throughout.

challenges and solutions

Working around the challenges of a tricky site

Due to the colossal site level differences, a recurring issue is posed in encouraging movement around campus, with its placement on a steep hill creating a segregated and disjointed campus.

A new central quad will mediate between the inconsistent site levels and has been strategically designed as a ‘collision space’, encouraging more connection and collaboration between students as they move between department buildings. It also provides a communal social space.

Another significant challenge faced when designing is undertaking construction whilst on a live college site. It’s vital that students, staff and visitors remain undisturbed during the construction phase, leaving no opportunity to impact their learning.

In designing the masterplan, a phased delivery was at the forefront to ensure the campus will function to the best of its ability whilst works take place. This ensures spaces and areas can be dedicated to learning whilst other facilities may be out of use.

Cornwall College CEM02
View 12 Quad Building 1 Facade Tree fade
Cornwall College Stage 2 draft compressed
Cornwall College Stage 2 draft compressed 2
View 14 Building 2 Up Slope
View 10 Building 2 Approach

design concept

Making best use of the space to create positive and meaningful learning facilities

The new buildings will link an existing theatre, construction skills and automotive vehicle facilities into a connected campus of facilities.

Promoting greater connectivity in a more social environment, building one's ground floor is dedicated to dining spaces with greater access to the central quad. The hospitality department and community use spaces sit on building one's first floor and benefits from excellent accessibility, leaving the creative arts department and learning resource for the second floor.

In the heart of building one's central space you'll find the versatile learning steps, which help to showcase a dramatic, interesting yet flexible interior design.

The nature of the steps will help create a light and airy interior look and feel and will be used as both casual learning and social space. The steps will also provide a vertical connection to the upper floors of the building, and will bring better movement and connectivity around the building.

A dedicated space for foundation students sits on building two's ground floor, benefitting from a more discreet entrance to reinforce its purpose on the campus, with the healthcare department sitting on the first floor.

Benefitting from easy access to PV and solar hot water array on the connecting courtyard roof, the engineering department sits strategically on the upper floor.


Rebuilding and transforming college estates

Part of the significant £1.5bn capital investment delivered through the FE Capital Programme, St Austell Campus will deliver a transformed educational environment, sitting alongside 16 others in England as part of the investment.

The campus has been designed and developed in line with the DFE’s (Department for Education) sustainability principles over the next four years and will set a significant benchmark for sustainable design on our pathway to meet 2050’s Net Zero Carbon requirement.

Key Information

Project summary


Cornwall College


St Austell, PL25 4DJ


On going


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