White Design completed the design of a Learning and Skills Centre as part of a wider design submission for a new young offenders institution facility in Leicester. The design carefully integrates educational facilities with faith and visiting areas arranged around an enclosed courtyard, much like a traditional college quadrangle.
The classroom teaching spaces are arranged as a 2-storey range which encloses the southern edge of the education courtyard. The western end of the classroom range links to the rear of the visits facility to enable direct controlled access for external community use. To the eastern end of the classroom range are sited the IT classrooms at ground floor and the multi-use group room at first floor. A staircase and link corridor between the classrooms and IT spaces provides access to the teacher’s preparation and library spaces which form an extension to the south of the classroom range.
The building design makes use of natural, robust materials, such as cross-laminated timber panels, to create an attractive and secure learning environment. Teaching spaces are naturally ventilated via pre-conditioned air drawn in through below ground ducting and extracted via roof vents. The building fabric includes high levels of thermal insulation to minimise heating loads and energy use. Spaces are naturally lit using translucent panels to provide high-quality, glare-free diffuse lighting while maintaining necessary levels of security.