12 January 2023

Wellington College gains planning for a new Sixth Form Centre

The Sixth Form Centre at Wellington College will offer a bridge to further and higher education by bringing together the Careers, Universities and Higher Education Departments of the College, as well as dedicated space for the A-Levels and International Baccalaureate staff. New tailored study spaces and café facilities opening out to a landscaped quad will offer students new environments for learning. This inclusive and multi-purpose space is scheduled to open in 2024, will enable all Sixth Formers to meet, relax, work, receive support and plan for life beyond Wellington – all in one place.

The project forms part of a wider College estate vision developed by MICA Architects. It recognises the existing Hopetoun Garage site as a development site which could help transform a backland into part of the wider Wellington experience. The building takes the form of two interlocking brick volumes, which are tuned to respond to the surrounding context, routes and landscape setting. The design ethos reflects the quality of the main college architecture in contemporary detailing and quality materials, including the use of locally sourced handmade brick.

Between the Sixth Form Centre and Modern Languages building, a new courtyard is proposed. The landscaped setting, is activated at the ground floor by a cafe and a covered colonnade. Providing informal study and wellbeing spaces enhancing the day-to-day experience of students and staff.

From the outset the design has explored fabric first principles to drive down energy usage, in embodied and operational carbon. As part of the Bracknell Forest Borough Local Development Framework, Core Strategy, the Sixth Form Centre development has demonstrated how carbon dioxide emissions will be reduced through passive energy efficient design measures and how it will provide at least 20% of its energy requirements from on-site renewable energy generation including photovoltaic panels and an air source heat pump. In addition, the structural strategy has been designed to minimise the impact of embodied carbon by utilising hybrid cross laminated timber and steel. This modern method of construction measurably reduces the whole life carbon of the building, construction time and total emissions associated with alternative structural materials.

The project has been developed since planning was submitted, with construction scheduled to commence in April 2023 and a planned completion date in September 2024.

Concept visualisation showing cafe spilling out into the quad
Aerial visualisation of Sixth Form Centre in context
Visual of proposed open plan, light filled study space
1 / 4 Concept visualisation showing cafe spilling out into the quad

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