Landmark contemporary teaching provision
Wiltshire College & University Centre Lackham Campus
|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.
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.
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.
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.
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.