North Hertfordshire College Hitchin Centre Completes
The £10m upgrade of existing facilities at North Hertfordshire College’s Hitchin Campus has completed.
The design for the new and refurbished buildings by international design practice, Scott Brownrigg, has transformed the campus to reflect the needs of the students. It has been designed and developed as part of a holistic masterplan strategy for the 110,000 sq m Hitchin campus.
The scheme revives the Hitchin centre through the refurbishment of three teaching accommodation blocks and the creation of a new internal ‘Hub’ space. The 600 sq m multi-functional Hub forms the central focus for the scheme; it was created by redeveloping a former external courtyard, located between existing buildings. The new space provides much sought after additional areas for learning and social interactions, while acting as a point of orientation, linking the existing buildings through the rationalisations of circulation routes. The Hub roof has been conceived as a solid floating plane which unifies the refurbished teaching blocks. The structure of the roof has been exposed to add drama to the space and has been designed to provide a column free, flexible learning environment. The roof sits on a band of clerestory glazing which brings natural light deep into the Hub, whilst open-able windows allow the space to be naturally ventilated, providing a comfortable environment.
In unifying the existing buildings a greater connectivity is encouraged between the disciplines, promoting interaction and knowledge transfer, whilst providing an accessible, high quality student facility to meet the vision of North Hertfordshire College.
The new facilities place greater emphasis on wayfinding, access and security across the site and provide a reconfigured entrance to improve site presence.
The redevelopment has been jointly funded by North Hertfordshire College and the Skills Funding Agency and was delivered through the SMARTE EAST Framework.
Signe Sutherland, Principal and CEO of North Hertfordshire College said: “The new Hub space at Hitchin certainly delivers the wow factor. It will provide an inspirational learning environment within which our students can work, network and celebrate success. Providing highly functional areas, the hub has been well received by both students and staff alike. It is the latest building to be delivered in a series of projects between North Hertfordshire College and Scott Brownrigg, and is further testament to the successful and long-standing relationship we share with the practice”.