Hackney University Technical Colleges, UTC London Building, English Higher Education Design Project

Hackney UTC : University Technical Colleges London

Hackney Education Building, East London design by Walters & Cohen Architects, UK

24 Jan 2012

Hackney University Technical Colleges

Design: Walters & Cohen Architects

Walters & Cohen Architects win Hackney UTC project

Walters and Cohen have been confirmed as project architects for the Hackney UTC project. The new University Technical Colleges will provide teaching in a range of practical and vocational skills. Walters and Cohen is working with Bam Construction on Hackney UTC, the first new build UTC.

Hackney University Technical Colleges
image from architects

A UTC differs from a school in its emphasis on technical education, specialist equipment and strong employer involvement, in this case improving the development opportunities for young people in East London by offering courses in healthcare and digital technologies, with clear links to employment, higher education and apprenticeships.

The brief called for an attractive and inspirational environment, creating a beacon of excellence in the local community. For the first time in 150 years of investment in vocational education, there is a parity of esteem between academic and vocational education.

Ian Ashman, Principal of Hackney Community College, said: “Hackney Community College is the Sponsor of Hackney UTC, which will be the first University Technical College to open in London, the first in digital and health technologies and the first nationally to be based on a college campus.

As such it is vital that we have a building that is distinctive, flexible, provides a business-like environment for the new way of learning, yet complements our existing, award-winning facilities. We have found Walters and Cohen’s design team to be flexible, responsive and innovative, successfully balancing these priorities in a high quality building, within the available resources.”

The site of Hackney UTC forms part of a campus based in Hoxton, including Hackney Community College (HCC) and London Metropolitan University (LMU). Our scheme, a combination of new build and extensive refurbishment, is the result of a thorough exploration of options, engaging with the college to understand and meet the complex requirements of the brief. Emphasis was placed on clarity between the specialisms, better outdoor space and creating a strong and distinctive identity within the campus while retaining a strong relationship with its context.

UTCs involve local business people as mentors to ensure graduates are what local businesses are looking for.

The location by Kingsland Road situates the UTC in a diverse and vibrant area, with numerous NHS trust buildings, technological start-ups and multiple creative industries. This has brought artists, designers and other professionals to the area, many of whom now live as well as work among Hackney’s longstanding multicultural communities. The UTC will draw on these links to provide its students with a comprehensive education and employment opportunities.

Annie Blackmore has recently been appointed as Head Teacher and admissions are now open. Visit www.hackneyutc.co.uk for more information.

Walters and Cohen

Walters and Cohen has an international portfolio of education, commercial, public and cultural projects. Our portfolio includes a rich variety of award-winning buildings in both public and private sectors and many projects won through national and international design competitions. The practice has completed projects for Kew Gardens, the Bank of England and the Horniman Museum.

The design process from concept to completion is central to the ethos of the practice. Making beautiful buildings that have civic and social purpose encourages a wider conversation about architecture within the office; projects are developed through design review, and proposals strengthened through research. Designs that are intimately connected to context and function develop through rigorous analysis of the site, brief and constructive dialogue with clients and end users.

Walters and Cohen is committed to design excellence and creating buildings that express a profound sense of place. We nurture long-term relationships with many clients and are serious about the responsible delivery of projects. Social, economic and environmental sustainability are integral to our promotion of a better built environment.

Hackney University Technical Colleges images / information from Walters & Cohen Architects

Walters & Cohen

Location: Hackney, London, England, UK

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