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Wednesday, July 01, 2023

Archial Architects wins design award for Middlesbrough College

The team behind the development of the new 70m Middlesbrough College campus is celebrating this week after the iconic project secured a highly commended award at the prestigious national RIBA LSC Further Education Design Awards, its third award in as many months, as the scheme has swept across a range of national and regional property awards picking up recognition for its ground breaking design, its contribution to regeneration and its delivery of an outstanding educational campus.

The annual RIBA LSC awards celebrate design excellence in the further education sector and entries were judged on their innovation, excellence, sustainability and adaptability. Middlesbrough College was highly commended as a large scale cross curriculum project.

Designed by Archial Architects' Birmingham office on behalf of Middlesbrough College, the iconic mile long building, which has transformed a former derelict dockyard site, now houses over 6,000 students and 1,000 staff who all relocated from four separate campuses spread across the town. The maritime-inspired design features a striking main five storey block representing the 'hull' of a ship with reflective multi-toned metal shingle cladding, and a two-storey 'wave' building with curved geometry walls to the rear.

Only days before securing recognition from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), the project was highly commended by judges at the Middlesbrough Council Design Awards 2009, which as part of the council's Urban Design Week, selected the most significant new developments across the area to highlight the role that they have played in transforming the Middlesbrough landscape.

Councillor Dave Budd, Middlesbrough Council's Executive Member for Regeneration and Economic Development, said: "The importance of good design is critical to the ambition for the town. We need buildings and spaces that everyone can be proud of. If we can raise the aspiration on design then that has to be good for the town's regeneration. We are also creating a legacy for future generations."

This tremendous award success follows after the project last month scooped the prestigious RICS North East Renaissance Regeneration Award for its contribution to the physical, educational, economic and social regeneration of Middlehaven, Middlesbrough.

Widely recognised as the 'Oscars' of the north east property and construction industry, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Renaissance Awards this year welcomed a record number of entries from more than seventy projects from across the north east, with Middlesbrough College beating six other projects that were also short listed in the regeneration category.

Robert Heckels of the Birmingham office of Archial Architects comments on the trio of award wins: "We are all delighted to see the project securing this kind of recognition. It has taken a great deal of hard work from all those involved to complete the development, but it has proven to be well worth it when you witness the very real contribution it has made to the transformation of the Middlehaven site, the single inclusive educational community it has created and the impact that the design has had on the skyline."

Not only does the campus create an iconic landmark on the Middlesbrough skyline it also critically provides unrivalled education facilities which are also shared with the wider community, making it a truly inclusive regeneration project. Boasting 32,000 sq m of space, the building incorporates a 156 seat theatre, a four-storey library, 14 engineering and construction workshops, six hair and beauty salons, a six-court sports hall, a restaurant and cafe, six recording studios, four drama and dance studios, two lecture theatres and six science laboratories.

Archial Architects was chosen by Middlesbrough College to develop this major new building, following a national design competition held in 2005. Following a 20 month building programme the site was completed in August 2008. The development team behind the new Middlesbrough College campus includes Archial Architects, Alsop Architects (masterplanning of the wider site), contractors Laing O'Rourke and project managers AA Project Management.