Landmark contemporary teaching provision

Wiltshire College & University Centre Lackham Campus

Location Wiltshire
Client Wiltshire College & University Centre

A brief history

Funded by an investment from the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP), the Lackham campus has undergone a £9m capital investment programme. Developments include Agricultural Technology Centre and the Animal Resource Centre. This project marks another milestone of our 12 year partnership with Wiltshire College and University Centre. Over the years we have enjoyed successfully supporting them in designing stimulating educational buildings that make a real difference in the community.

Project vision

The design was to deliver a landmark building and arrival point, showcasing the activities on the 1,600 acre estate and providing contemporary teaching, learning and research facilities.

The design intent

We worked closely with the Local Authority Conservation Officer to ensure the setting, and views from and of, the adjacent listed building, were not compromised. Blending a contemporary building form with natural materials, represents both the long tradition of land based education on the site, and the technological sophistication of the 21st century agriculture industry.

The intent was to design a new focal point for the campus, creating a pedestrian priority shared surface between the three key buildings at the point of arrival; Lackham House, the Refectory Building, and the new Agri-Tech Hub, which includes the new reception and exploits technology to showcase the extensive variety of activities happening across the campus.

Design delivery

In the first phase of development, the two upper floors of Lackham House were transformed into a modern teaching centre, with a dedicated common room for university level students alongside new computer suites and classrooms.

In parallel, new animal care facilities were provided at the other end of the campus, including a new animal care centre, vivarium, exotic animal centre and associated external works, together with a new dairy in the College Farm.

The flagship Agri-Tech hub building completed the project, delivering a new focal point for the campus.

User experience

The new facilities give students the chance to experience working and learning within a real industry environment. The new hub brings together disciplines that previously worked relatively autonomously, enabling cross fertilisation of knowledge, expertise and ideas.


The students benefit from the knowledge they are supported by the technology and facilities to enable them to work to current industry best practice, resulting in better engagement with prospective employers.

Overcoming challenges

The combined effect of Brexit and the pandemic caused chaos with the procurement of the timber cladding. A shipment apparently stuck in transit for months failed to materialise, however the team pulled together to overcome this and other challenges, and the completed building is a fantastic testament to collaborative working.

Agricultural learning hub

The new building forms a contemporary backdrop to agricultural activity.

The contextual façade

The simplicity of the building form echoes traditional agricultural buildings, providing views over the Avon Valley.

Landmark arrival entrance

The Agri-Tech Centre defines the point of arrival following the picturesque drive through the Wiltshire countryside. Configured around the Grade II listed Lackham House and the Refectory Building, the shared surface is an external reinterpretation of the ‘entrance atrium’.

"The new hub is a fantastic facility; a point of arrival at the end of the beautiful drive up to Lackham Campus, celebrating the mix of tradition and technology that is the 21st century agricultural industry."

David Perkin, Project Director

Concept Sketch

This concept sketch explores the sensitive insertion of new buildings into the curtilage of Lackham House.

Site plan

The site required considered planning to accommodate the college's needs.