DLA Architecture has announced that works have commenced to deliver the next significant development phase at Oaklands College, St Albans Campus.
Principal contractor, RG Carters is working alongside DLA to deliver a 32,130 sq ft Construction Centre which forms part of an overall £62 million, four-phase masterplan to redevelop the entire Campus, providing a more energy efficient and secure state of the art learning facility.
DLA has previously designed Phase one, The Homestead, which saw the redevelopment of former farm buildings to provide 83 en-suite study bedrooms and a social hub for students. It also delivered phase two comprising a £13.4 million ‘Evolution Centre’ with 49 teaching classrooms and associated facilities.
The new Construction Centre will provide state of the art workshops for teaching construction skills including; electrical installations and testing, plumbing installation and testing, gas assessment, new courses on renewables including ASHP, PV and EV charging and Construction Management.
The project will include a range of teaching classrooms to support the theoretical side of the student’s curriculum with IT rooms and immersive AV teaching as well as versatile study spaces for students to socialise and study between timetabled sessions.
Chris Levett, Director at DLA Architecture, said,
“We are delighted to be able to start construction of The Construction Centre in this phased redevelopment of Oaklands College, due to completed in 2024. The Centre is a critical part of the learning and teaching experience at St Albans Campus and as such our design approach sought to deliver an inviting building that acknowledges the Colleges agricultural history whilst at the same time providing highly modern, flexible spaces.
“The flexible environment will allow future generations of our construction industry to learn important skills including installing and maintaining renewable technologies. Students will be very much involved with the construction process of the building as part of their curriculum to understand modern methods applied in supporting energy conservation and SMART building technology.
“Indeed, the building will be an exemplar for sustainability with a high performing building envelope and low carbon systems. Our designs, using principles of the circular economy, support maximum flexibility for future adaptation with ease of maintenance, for students to benchmark their skillset.”
DLA is retained to design the fourth and final phase of the Masterplan at St Albans Campus with the creation of a college square in front of the gateway building to completed the masterplan and create a focal point for the transformed campus.
DLA Architecture has been established for more than 40 years and employs 91 architectural staff across its offices in London, Leeds, Manchester. Its expertise covers a broad range of sectors including learning, sport, industry, care, workplace, housing, retail, conservation and re-use.
DLA’s experience in the learning and student accommodation sectors is considerable. It recently completed the new Esther Simpson Building, an important gateway site to Leeds University Business School.