FIRST LOOK: Mackenzie Wheeler Architects’ Feltham Skills Centre has been given planning permission by the London Borough of Hounslow’s Sustainable Development Committee
As part of West Thames College, the new Skills Centre will provide state-of-the-art premises for vocational training including construction, motor mechanics and hairdressing.
The new building will occupy a prominent position at the northeastern entry point to Feltham town centre. The site is wedge-shaped - 100m long on its southern edge and 35m wide across its northwest facing street frontage.
The building itself has three distinct elements. A six-storey tower housing the majority of the college’s teaching space, a single story workshop block and a learning resource centre. The tower is the main ‘public face’ of the college and it houses student support services, plus four floors of workshops and classrooms. To the rear of the tower the workshop block extends backwards making full use of the wedge-shaped site, without overlooking neighbouring residential properties. On the roof of the workshops are a garden and the learning resource centre.
Mackenzie Wheeler’s design is expected to gain a BREEAM Excellent rating. This will be achieved with the use of innovative technologies including a ground source heat pump and on-site renewable power.
The Skills Centre is the latest in a line of projects that Mackenzie Wheeler has designed for West Thames College. The practice initially created a new master plan for the main college campus and has recently completed the first new building, a nursery, which enables the existing nursery to be demolished and work to start on several new large educational buildings.