Sector: Education, Master Planning, Regeneration
Project value: £15,000,000
Project stage: Planning
Gibberd provided the architectural design for South Essex College’s new campus at Market Square in the town centre of Basildon. The scheme received planning consent in 2013 and will be one of the primary developments of the Basildon Town Centre master-plan when developed.
With the college committed to providing a fully inclusive learning and working environment, extensive work went into providing simple and easily understood building layouts, together with external space where public use is straight-forward. The practice worked alongside the college and their advisors throughout the design process in order to ensure that the building has a landmark quality and meets the aspirations of the College and other stakeholders, whilst also being efficiently planned and economically designed. The College profits from the designation of two main entrances, both designed with visual emphasis. Each of these is granted with a generous forecourt which will benefit from seating areas and will assist and improve the quality of the space to suit meeting and waiting. Lighting and signage will be carefully designed to improve legibility and way-finding, and a central reception will provide an immediate point of contact for first time visitors and regular users accessing from either entrance.
Blessed with very good local transport connections, the new accommodation comprises of approximately 8,000sqm of space for a rich curriculum which includes hair and beauty, sports and science facilities. It was of utmost importance that the promotion of public interface through a building of status and impact was a key driver for the design solution. The design intends to enhance the opportunity for cyclists, with a number of cycle parking zones throughout the site. These are located in a manner which integrates with landscaping proposals and enables informal monitoring from within the College and adjacent uses, with space also put aside for covered storage provisions.