Hi Tech & Digital Centre, South Devon College
South Devon College’s innovative £17 million Hi Tech & Digital Centre provides a new facility for further education and training support to the expanding high-tech, manufacturing, digital and creative sectors across Devon.
Built by Midas Construction, the centre has been designed by LHC Design to cater to the latest technological advances across several subject areas, from engineering to the creative arts, providing students with the opportunity to engage with the latest programming and digital skills required in the modern workplace.
Facilities include workspaces for manufacturing and electrical testing at ground level, with various classrooms and break-out spaces above. A bespoke 100-seat screening suite and photography and sound studios are located in an asymmetrical-style drum. A central staircase connects all three levels of the building, with large rooflights flooding the open atrium with natural light.
Photovoltaic panels provide the centre with all its energy requirements, contributing to the project achieving BREEAM ‘Excellent’ and EPC A ratings. The exterior lighting is constructed from largely recyclable and reusable materials designed by Michael Grubb Studio, who used the latest LED and lensing technology to create an illuminating external display between dusk and 10pm. The exterior design was nominated in the surface exterior category of the Surface Design Awards.
The Hi Tech & Digital Centre was also shortlisted for an RICS social impact award in the South West region.
Currie & Brown worked closely with the college, stakeholders and the design team to achieve affordability and value for money while maximising the visual impact and quality of the building. While these are often competing objectives, the result here is a truly stunning building.
Robust and accurate cost reporting, combined with strong risk management, enabled the college to transfer funds strategically between contingency allowances and build/fixtures, furniture and equipment budgets throughout the project to maximise investment into the facility.
Images courtesy of Tim Pestridge Photography and Roy Riley