Oaklands College St Albans masterplan

Oaklands College St Albans masterplan architect, Hertfordshire campus building image, New English school design

Oaklands College St Albans masterplan news

post updated 17 October 2023

DLA Announces Start On Site For Next Development Phase At Oaklands College

Location: Hatfield Road, Oaklands, St Albans, Hertfordshire, England, UK

Design: DLA Architecture

Oaklands College St Albans Campus design
image courtesy of architects practice

Oaklands College St Albans Campus

DLA Architecture has announced that works have commenced to deliver the next significant development phase at Oaklands College, St Albans Campus.

Principal contractor, RG Carters is working alongside DLA to deliver a 32,130 sq ft Construction Centre which forms part of an overall £62 million, four-phase masterplan to redevelop the entire Campus, providing a more energy efficient and secure state of the art learning facility.

DLA has previously designed Phase one, The Homestead, which saw the redevelopment of former farm buildings to provide 83 en-suite study bedrooms and a social hub for students. It also delivered phase two comprising a £13.4 million ‘Evolution Centre’ with 49 teaching classrooms and associated facilities.

The new Construction Centre will provide state of the art workshops for teaching construction skills including; electrical installations and testing, plumbing installation and testing, gas assessment, new courses on renewables including ASHP, PV and EV charging and Construction Management.

Oaklands College St Albans Campus interior
render courtesy of architects practice

The project will include a range of teaching classrooms to support the theoretical side of the student’s curriculum with IT rooms and immersive AV teaching as well as versatile study spaces for students to socialise and study between timetabled sessions.

Chris Levett, Director at DLA Architecture, said,
“We are delighted to be able to start construction of The Construction Centre in this phased redevelopment of Oaklands College, due to completed in 2024. The Centre is a critical part of the learning and teaching experience at St Albans Campus and as such our design approach sought to deliver an inviting building that acknowledges the Colleges agricultural history whilst at the same time providing highly modern, flexible spaces.

“The flexible environment will allow future generations of our construction industry to learn important skills including installing and maintaining renewable technologies. Students will be very much involved with the construction process of the building as part of their curriculum to understand modern methods applied in supporting energy conservation and SMART building technology.

“Indeed, the building will be an exemplar for sustainability with a high performing building envelope and low carbon systems. Our designs, using principles of the circular economy, support maximum flexibility for future adaptation with ease of maintenance, for students to benchmark their skillset.”

DLA is retained to design the fourth and final phase of the Masterplan at St Albans Campus with the creation of a college square in front of the gateway building to completed the masterplan and create a focal point for the transformed campus.

DLA Architecture has been established for more than 40 years and employs 91 architectural staff across its offices in London, Leeds, Manchester. Its expertise covers a broad range of sectors including learning, sport, industry, care, workplace, housing, retail, conservation and re-use.

DLA’s experience in the learning and student accommodation sectors is considerable. It recently completed the new Esther Simpson Building, an important gateway site to Leeds University Business School.

Previously on e-architect:

30 November 2021

DLA Completes Next Phase Of Redevelopment Masterplan For Oaklands College

Architects: DLA Architecture

Oaklands College St Albans masterplan
rendering courtesy of architects office

Oaklands College St Albans

DLA Architecture has completed and handed over phase two of the £62 million redevelopment masterplan for Oaklands College at its St Albans Campus.

The £13.4 million ‘Evolution Centre’ provides 49 classrooms, including one science classroom, six dedicated ICT rooms alongside new office space for staff. There is also a dedicated wing for Pathway 4 special needs students.

It forms part of an overall four-phase masterplan to redevelop the entire St Albans Campus to provide a more energy efficient and secure state-of-the-art learning facility. The poor quality, out of date elements of the existing site will be refurbished or demolished.

As well as the Phase two new teaching accommodation and Phase one student accommodation, the new campus masterplan will include a further two phases. Phases three and four will provide new workshops for gas, electrical, construction and wet trades, administration areas, learning resource centre, a refectory and sports pavilion with gymnasium and studio facilities.

DLA has previously designed Phase one, The Homestead, which now provides high quality residential accommodation for students. The concept for the Homestead was based on a collection of farm buildings with a communal ‘Farmhouse’ and includes three wings with 83 ensuite study bedrooms and a student social hub on the edge of the campus. It is framed by a forest to the West and the College’s Equine and Animal care zone to the North.

DLA is retained to design phases three and four at St Albans Campus. The final phase will also see the creation of a college square in front of the gateway building which will finish the masterplan and create a focal point for the transformed campus.

Chris Levett, Director at DLA Architecture, said,
“We are delighted to reach this next significant milestone in the phased redevelopment of Oaklands College due to completed in 2024. The Evolution Centre is a critical part of the learning and teaching experience at St Albans Campus and as such our design approach sought to deliver an inviting building that acknowledges the Colleges agricultural history whilst at the same time providinghighly modern, flexible spaces.

“The majority of the building is clad in vertical square profile black cladding. Clay brown pockets of horizonal cladding break up the mass and provide a warmth in areas of the building where visitors, staff and students pass through. The dominant cladding is designed with diagonal sloping parapets, helping to conceal the roof plant but also bring a drama and excitement to the building form. Ensuring that the integrity and strength of the design was retained after many rounds of value engineering the retention of the high-quality cladding was a key priority.

“Throughout the design process we were mindful of meeting pressures of the overall cost plan whilst ensuring comfort for occupiers, now and in the future climate. Working alongside delivery partners, Willmott Dixon, Fusion Project Management, Couch Perry & Wilkes, SWECO UK, and Stroma, we have managed to deliver this project on budget, despite the many challenges presented by the live environment and the pandemic.”

Andrew Slade, Principal and CEO Oaklands College, said,
“This marks an important stage in our campus development. It is fitting that we deliver a state-of-the-art teaching facility for our students in the year where we mark our centenary and as we look to the future and our next 100 years. Oaklands has a rich heritage in providing 100 years of transformational education and this significant new teaching facility will play an important part in our building on that proud tradition.”

DLA Architecture is an award-winning practice which employs over 75 architects, landscape architects, technologists, and graphic designers. Established over 40 years ago the practice has offices in London, Leeds, and Manchester. Its expertise covers a broad range of sector including learning, sport, industry, care, workplace, housing, retail, conservation, and re-use.

DLA’s experience in the learning and student accommodation sectors is considerable. It most recently completed the new Esther Simpson Building, an important gateway site to Leeds University Business School.
www.dla-architecture.co.uk / @DLAarchitecture

Oaklands College St Albans masterplan images / information received 301121

Previously on e-architect:

6 Aug 2008

Oaklands College St Albans Building

Design: Bond Bryan Architects
Oaklands College St Albans Building
image courtesy of architects
St Albans City Museum and Art Gallery Building by Bond Bryan Architects

Address: Oaklands College, Hatfield Road, Oaklands, St Albans, AL4 0JA, England, United Kingdom
Phone: +44 1727 737000

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Design: John McAslan + Partners, Architects
St Albans City Museum and Gallery
image courtesy of architects
St Albans City Museum and Art Gallery Building

St Albans Cathedral Welcome Centre Building
Design: Simpson and Brown, Architects
St Albans Cathedral Welcome Centre Building
photo © Giles Rocholl Photography
St Albans Cathedral Welcome Centre Building

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Comments / photos for the Oaklands College St Albans masterplan design by DLA Architecture in England, UK, page welcome.