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Bournville College
Birmingham, UK

New-build further education college campus

When the Longbridge car plant closed after over a century of production, the site became an ideal opportunity for regeneration within the south west of Birmingham.

Bournville College appointed Broadway Malyan’s specialist Education team to prepare a critical part of a new masterplan for a new-build campus building, which facilitates further education, higher education and vocational teaching, located in a new public square dubbed “a new heart for Longbridge”.

The new college was one of only thirteen colleges to be awarded LSC funding in 2009. The college required a building for the 21st Century, meaning flexible, adaptable teaching spaces with wireless networks throughout.

Broadway Malyan worked closely with the masterplanner, Bournville College and Birmingham City Council, to ensure the building maximised its potential as an architecturally prominent, landmark building, not only for the college but also for the city. The college required a building for the 21st Century, meaning flexible, adaptable teaching spaces with wireless networks throughout.

Vocational aspects such as the Hair Salons, Restaurant, Conference Centre and Motor Vehicle Workshops were opened up to connect the building with its context and to also act as a form of advertisement to entice potential users into the building.

In order to maximise ground floor access the team developed the building primarily in cross section. Levels split and ramp up and down either side of a central spine building, effectively creating two ground surfaces.

The bold, street hugging conference centre is clad in gold metallic sheets to strongly announce the college’s presence to the viewer. Its raking spine building culminates in a four storey glazed block on the west end of the site, linking to long views of the River Rea and showcasing the college’s teaching functions to those entering and leaving the city on the arterial Bristol Road A38 route.

The Learning Resource Centre and Restaurant are fully showcased to draw users into the building. The 10m high glazed wall of the LRC is punctured rhythmically by 1m deep Siberian Larch glulam frames, which are slashed dramatically to form the main entrance into the building.

In the same way the ‘gold’ signals the building on the busy roadside, the dramatic glazed façade with huge timber frames forms a strong presence on the new public square.

"Broadway Malyan designed a fantastic campus for us…it will be one of the most modern and contemporary further education facilities in Europe and will bring long-lasting benefits to the region."

Norman Cave, Principal, Bournville College

"Broadway Malyan designed a fantastic campus for us…it will be one of the most modern and contemporary further education facilities in Europe and will bring long-lasting benefits to the region."

Norman Cave, Principal, Bournville College

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