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Design Engine unveils plans for maritime training centre in Hampshire

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Design Engine has submitted plans for a new safety training centre for Solent University’s Warsash Maritime Academy

The proposal, submitted to Southampton City Council, will consolidate all teaching and training facilities for the specialist education centre into a new integrated L-shaped building within a remodelled campus.

It will include a firefighting training ground and a pool for survival and helicopter underwater escape training.

The development, located just east of Southampton, will be used to train Hampshire Fire and Rescue staff as well as academy students.

Design Engine director David Gausden said the Warsash scheme was an opportunity to enhance the academy’s campus and to develop an architectural approach that accommodates the ’varied technical requirements of the training facility within this coastal setting’.

According to the architect, the academy’s existing classrooms and training facilities are approaching the end of their life. Of the nine buildings on the retained site, four are temporary prefabs not suitable for redevelopment.

The proposed new buildings reference coastal and dockyard architecture where structures typically take the form of wide-span gable-ended buildings designed to accommodate boats and equipment.

The new buildings are primarily clad in a textured, dark sinusoidal metal typical of marine architecture. This makes the scheme ’visually recessive and non-reflective’ against the backdrop of trees, while also making use of signature colour highlights for branding and signage.

Design Engine’s science and mathematics centre for Charterhouse School in Godalming was shortlisted for RIBA’s South East Awards last month.

The practice also recently completed a new learning centre for Downe House, a private boarding school in Berkshire.

Subject to approval, construction is due to start in January.

SUBMITTED: Design Engine's proposal for a maritime training facility near Southampton

SUBMITTED: Design Engine’s proposal for a maritime training facility near Southampton

Project data

Tender date February 2019
Start on site date 
January 2020
Completion date 
August 2021
Contract duration
19 months
Gross internal floor area 
approx. 630m²
Form of contract 
Design & Build
Total cost 
Solent University
Architect Design Engine
Project manager Faithful+Gould
Structural engineer WFBA
M&E consultant ION Consulting Engineers
Quantity surveyor AECOM
BREEAM & acoustics Sweco
Planning consultant Vail Williams
CDM/principal designer Scott White Hookins
BIM manager Baker Hicks
Building control inspector Southampton City Council

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