Farnborough College of Technology

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Farnborough College of Technology

University Centre Development in southern England, UK – design by Nicholas Hare Architects

7 Mar 2017

University Centre Farnborough

Design: Nicholas Hare Architects

Location: Farnborough, England

Farnborough College of Technology

Farnborough College of Technology

Farnborough College of Technology is a successful Further Education College, which also offers degree courses in collaboration with the University of Surrey. Most of the College buildings were designed by Hampshire Architects Department under the guidance of Sir Colin Stansfield-Smith. They formed an excellent working environment, but were hidden away from public view. Part of the brief for the new buildings was therefore to announce on the street the presence of a high quality educational establishment – a striking building was required. Its main functional purposes were to create a new entrance to the College and to the library, an internet café and extensive informal study seminar spaces.

Farnborough College of Technology

Farnborough College of Technology

The building’s location on the front of the College site required a diagonal route through it from the predominant arrival point in the north-west corner of the site to the south-west corner of the main central ‘street’ linking the existing buildings. This diagonal route is dramatised by dividing the building into two opposing ‘slices of cake’, with the rooflit diagonal route mediating between them.

Farnborough College of Technology

A dramatic ‘prow’ extends towards the approach route from the north, guiding the eye towards the main entrances and protecting a paved entrance plaza. A similar, smaller prow on the south side protects an outdoor seating area next to the café. The building is clad in pale textured brickwork, with dark vertical fins establishing a rhythm along the east and west elevations.

Farnborough College of Technology

Internally, the diagonal route is naturally lit by sloping rooflights, and is lined on either side by circular steel columns, which echo those of the 1980s pedestrian street. The main structure is formed of steel columns and beams, with visible cross-laminated timber forming the first floor and roof.

Farnborough College of Technology

The £5.8m building was procured through the IESE Framework with MACE as contractor.

Farnborough College of Technology

Sustainability

The issue of sustainability has been central in guiding decisions on all aspects of the project, including the following:

Farnborough College of Technology

Social sustainability
A primary purpose of the project was to integrate the College better into the town. Previously it had been hidden from the main road, lacking presence or identity. Part of the brief was to make a recognisable building, which would establish the College’s presence and availability for wider use. In this it seems to have succeeded, and it is probably a backhanded compliment referring to its form that it has apparently become known locally as ‘the Titanic’…

Whole life considerations – choice of materials
The choice of steel and CLT as the main construction materials means that the building has low embodied energy, because of the use of timber and the high efficiency of the structure, using each material for what it is structurally best at doing. The building will be easy to maintain and, when the time comes, to demolish and recycle.

Energy performance
The building envelope is designed to achieve comfortable conditions through primarily passive means. It is highly insulated, and the glazing and rooflights are carefully scaled to give excellent daylight without overheating. All of the lights use LEDs, and the displacement mechanical ventilation system uses efficient heat recovery in winter.

Farnborough College of Technology

University Centre Farnborough – Building Information

Client: Farnborough College of Technology
Contractor: MACE
Structural Engineers: Peter Brett Associates
Environmental / M&E Engineers: Full Electrical Services Ltd
Project Management: MEA Ltd
Landscape Architects: Colour Urban Design Ltd

Farnborough College of Technology

Photography: Nicholas Hare Architects © Alan Williams photography.

Farnborough College of Technology images / information received 070317

Nicholas Hare Architects on e-architect


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Farnborough College of Technology Building

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