• Client Bridgend College

  • Type School Building

  • Location Bridgend

An inclusive and diverse college, Bridgend College is a further education facility supporting over 6,000 students across five campuses in Wales. Bridgend College’s new Land Base building was developed on the site of an existing education building known as block N which became unfit for the purposes of the college’s education needs and no longer met the standards required by the college.

Rio Architects was appointed as interior designers by ISG Ltd and Bridgend College, for the fit-out of the new circa 2,072m2 2-storey Land Base building in June 2020.

The brief required a new building to replace and improve the lost facilities, provide space to accommodate movement and reconfiguration of other educational facilities on campus. The accommodation includes 18 classrooms (ranging from 40 – 90m2) with necessary support spaces for the purposes of education Land Base subjects including Agriculture, Horticulture, Animal Care, Equine Studies and Countryside Management., two staff rooms, WCs and changing facilities.

As part of their commitment to Climate Change Emergency, Bridgend College also required the design to respond to current best practice for truly sustainable design including:

  • Passive measures for lighting and ventilation where possible
  • Enhanced Life Cycle through robust detailing and surface treatment
  • Agile design for future flexibility
  • U values and airtightness values in excess of current building regulations
  • Renewable energy technology where appropriate
  • Specification of materials with ‘Low Embodied Energy’ where possible
  • Efficient and flexible space design
  • Enhancement of the ecological and natural environment

The design has responded to a number of factors to improve the workplace environment, namely:

  • Desire for a light, open and inspiring environment
  • A central hub / light well has been created at the heart of the building at the main entrance and social space and vending facilities
  • 2 large workshops located on the ground floor with direct external access to allow learning activities to migrate into the surrounding landscape
  • Central reception and social learning space creates an animated and welcoming environment for staff and students
  • A roof light and open void within the floor allows natural light to permeate this space
  • A range of classroom sizes provides flexibility for future needs of the curriculum

A moss wall provides the following benefits: (Preserved moss)

  • Air quality: moss combats air pollution
  • Productivity: biophilic elements stimulate innovative thinking and problem solving
  • Reduced stress: biophilic elements reduce stress by 12%
  • Reduction in airborne dust: moss decomposes organic substances so it effectively reduces airborne dust
  • Reduced carbon dioxide Levels: plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen
  • Sharper focus: students are 70% more attentive when taught in classrooms containing plants