The proposal includes a state-of-the-art new college campus that will serve the surrounding area, as well as fulfilling a wider 16-18 and adult educational need for the people of Brent.
The bold architectural concept organises the diverse and potentially conflicting range of college activities - construction skills, English teaching, health and beauty - and expresses them in a series of identifiable horizontal layers. These are linked with highly visible vertical circulation through a linear atrium that rises through the full height of the centre of the building.
Heavy-duty construction engineering workshops are at the base of the building with visibility onto Olympic Way. Escalators bring the main student cohort up to the 2nd-floor concourse where student services, cafeteria and a tv studio as well as a large outdoor amenity deck with views up to the Wembley Arch are located.
The five floors above are mixed-mode flexible arrangements of classrooms and social study spaces that will be naturally ventilated with decentralised mechanical ventilation with heat recovery. On the third floor are the Learning Resource Centre and an integrated but discrete Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties unit, that will tread a careful line between inclusion and separateness - something the College already manage on their site at Willesden.
Particular attention has been given to vertical circulation with computer modelling of the pulses of student movement through the day accounted for via both lifts and escalators as well as open stairs. The top floor has senior management team accommodation, and staff areas generally being distributed on each floor throughout the building
Working with Max Fordham and Eckersley O'Callaghan engineers the WE design will exceed the 35% reduction in carbon emissions required by the London Plan 2021 and BREEAM version 6 - calculations being based on GLA Energy Assessment Guidance released in June 2022
Stafford Critchlow, Director at WilkinsonEyre Architects, said: “We are pleased that the team’s shared commitment to good design will give this prominent site the architecture it merits; making a confident statement about the value placed on education and skills in Brent, and offering a template for provision across London.”