Darlington College

Darlington College

Location: Darlington, Durham 
Client: Ellis Williams
Architect: Ellis Williams

The new 20,000 sq.m college is a modern iconic building forming the anchor development of Central Park regeneration project.  The main entrance to the campus forms the hub of the college where all core services are in a large spacious open plan centre. The glazed hub accommodates a range of services where students can readily access information, advice and guidance, a food court and contemporary restaurant, shop and printing services and the learning resource centre, hairdressing and beauty salons.  The site is provided with an integral access and service road to accommodate 400 car park spaces. The displacement of the buildings allows for future growth and expansion.

The college offers Vocational Courses in Media–Graphics, Catering, Hair & Beauty, Engineering, Construction, Motor Vehicle engineering and Sports Science these courses work in conjunction with 6th Form College and the Higher Education Centre.   Our previous experience on space planning enabled the team to produce a design that satisfied the curriculum model, the brief and overcome the demands of a difficult site. The hub responds to the urban grain of the approach to the college it works as a reference and an acoustic buffer – internally it is the central focus linking LRC, Central Services, Bistro and Student Services within a day lit three storey galleried atria.

We believe that our experience gained on this project in terms of working closely with the college, interpreting and delivering a design to a demanding brief on a difficult site is vital in terms of working on future projects. In offering a personal service we will hold the hand of the client from inception to completion during the complex process of understanding design to building fit-out and choice of fixtures and fittings. We worked closely with both the Principal and senior management team throughout the duration of the project.