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Private view showcases LSI Architects ‘Design Excellence’ Award winning boarding facilities

LSI Architects is holding a private view to showcase Wymondham College’s stunning, award winning sixth form boarding facilities on Thursday, 23rd July from 5pm – 8pm. Tours of the spectacular new development, designed by the Norwich and London based practice will take place from 5.30pm and drinks and canapés, accompanied by some gentle jazz entertainment by local musicians will be provided. The South Norfolk Council were so ‘”stunned” by the quality of this project that, at the 8th Annual South Norfolk Design awards they broke with tradition last year and created a unique ‘Design Excellence Award’ especially for the Wymondham College project.

Media representatives wishing to attend are requested to RSVP by Thursday, 16th July, to Carri Crook on 01366 387 027 or by email to carri@carismacommunications.co.uk . Parking is available at the college.

The new, £6.75 million expansion scheme involves a ‘wishbone’ style extension to an existing boarding block, with 115 new ensuite single study bedrooms and support accommodation, library, IT suite, reading room, office, music room, student lounges and communal activity spaces as well as an expansion of the existing dining facilities. The new building links to the existing Lincoln Hall building to provide a single base for all Year 12 and Year 13 pupils. Wymondham College is both the UK’s largest State Boarding School and one of the few State Boarding schools in the country, classified by the DfES as a ‘Successful and Popular’ School.

The main concept behind the design for the new complex was to provide all residents with a view outward over the Norfolk countryside, from rooms organised in three and four storey wings arranged around a large landscaped courtyard. Access to the new wings is via a covered walkway surrounding the new courtyard. The wings meet in a dramatic westward pointing ‘prow’, which will be clearly visible on entry into the campus.

In addition to the 2008 Award for ‘Design Excellence’, the scheme also secured the Award for ‘New Building’ and the Award for ‘Landscape’. It has also won this month a 2009 Norfolk Association of Architects Craftsmanship Award under the category ‘New Extensions’.

As time was an important factor to the project, the bathroom ‘pods’ were pre-fabricated to make construction quicker. As every student knows – noise travels fast in close-knit dorms so to minimise this problem the structures team used a reinforced concrete frame construction with alternating loadbearing crosswalls.

Melvyn Roffe, Principal of Wymondham College and current Chairman of the Boarding Schools’ Association, commented: “The College secured funding of £9.844 million from the DfES under the Government’s ‘Successful and Popular Schools’ Programme of which the £6.75 million for the Boarding Block represented the lion's share. The balance was allocated to various works across campus and to an 11 classroom expansion project. We are delighted with the outstanding quality of the design of the new boarding facilities and of the landscaping which deserve the recognition of these awards. The facilities will raise the profile of our 16+ provision and hopefully attract even greater student numbers applying to our Sixth Form.”

Phil Cowen of Cowen Consulting, the Project Manager for the scheme, said: "From the outset the College’s brief required a building that provided a bridge between school and university and defined the sixth form within the campus. Hearing the positive comments, from the staff and students alike, underlines that it has been a rewarding process for all on the Project Team to have worked with the College to assist them to realise their aspirations for the new Boarding Block.”

LSI Project Associate, Jeremy O’Rourke, said: “The new building makes a bold, contemporary architectural statement, with large areas of white render, timber cladding and glazing. The idea is that the new building provides high quality accommodation akin to that which the student may experience at University. To this end, the design concept allows each new room to enjoy distant views, whilst making a diverse range of activities possible within the landscaped courtyard at the heart of the scheme. Here there is a stage for performance, places for outdoor lessons and areas for the display of students’ art.”

Mr O’Rourke concluded: “The sustainability agenda has been a key determinant of the design. The highly insulated building has exposed concrete surfaces internally to provide cooling in the summer, has hot water produced by solar panels, and is largely ventilated by natural means.”

The Project Team

Client: Wymondham College
Architects: LSI Architects
Project Manager: Cowen Consulting
Services Engineer: Integrated Building Services
Contractors: RG Carter
Quantity Surveyor: Davis Langdon
Structural Engineer: Ramboll Whitbybird
Landscape Architect: Sheils Flynn
Landscape Contractor: GDC Ltd
Planning Supervisor: D Mulley Associates

Email: carri@carismacommunications.co.uk


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