Client Leigh Academy Trust
Location Kent, UK
University Technical Colleges are a new concept in education. They offer 14-19 year olds the opportunity to take a highly regarded, full time, technically-oriented course of study. The Leigh UTC in Dartford specialises in engineering and computer science.
The college had a clear vision to be a distinctive education provider for outstanding STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) learning. Students and apprentices learn from a personalised curriculum, which emphasises the practical application of academic and vocational learning.
Jestico + Whiles and BAM were commissioned to design and deliver the new building, which was Jestico + Whiles’ first UTC design. The team worked very closely with the college and their industry sponsors to develop the design, a unique fusion of educators and industry.
Developed to a low budget, the building is conceived as a simple cost-effective composition of two elements: the ‘office’ and the ‘workshop’.
The office is a business-like environment arranged around a central atrium, containing a mix of orthodox teaching space, laboratories and includes highly-serviced IT workshops with integrated server training infrastructure.
The workshop is a fully-equipped machine shop, complete with traversing girder crane and specialist equipment such as machine lathes and plasma cutters.
The scheme achieved planning in August 2013, and opened in September 2014.