Open design wins praise at college

The second phase of a £2.7m college construction project designed by architect Waring and Netts has been completed by developer Terrace Hill.

The second phase of a £2.7m college construction project designed by architect Waring and Netts has been completed by developer Terrace Hill.

Stockton Riverside College appointed the Newcastle architects in January 2003 after the practice's successful completion of the first phase of the project, which was commissioned in 1999.

Called SRC two (correct), the phase two building is a combination of workshops and classrooms catering for up to 600 students in the Tees Valley area.

Waring and Netts made numerous visits to the college campus and other regional colleges to ensure they were able to implement the college governors' detailed brief.

High on the list of design priorities was that the building provided vocational training, teaching and IT space, a cafe and social area. Project architect for Waring and Netts, Richard Howe, said: "Along with positioning the building in the North-East corner of the site in order to provide the best possible links with the phase one building, we decided to separate the college into quiet and noisy zones on the north and south sides of the building."

Mr Howe explained a main feature of the design was high visibility for those using the building by virtue of an unusual elliptical window on the front facade and there being no corridors at all, so circulation around the college is via a central space overlooked by balconies.

"Our team has thoroughly enjoyed the process of assisting the principal contractor Mansell Construction, which has an office in Gateshead, to bring phase two to successful completion." Specialist engineers White Young Green, of Stockton, also worked on the project after being awarded the contract by Terrace Hill, which also has an office in Stockton.

WYG principal engineer Paul Fergusan said: "WYG's environmental team has been involved in the project from the outset, having undertaken site investigations and flood risk assessments for the site as well as advising on the design of the civil and structural elements of the project."

College principal and chief executive Sujinder Sangha said: "SRC two is a magnificent addition to the college campus and further extends the existing state-of-the-art facilities offered to all the college's learners.

"Completion of the new building takes the college to a new level and it will enhance and support the college's infrastructure and facilities development for teaching and learning and learner support services."

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer