Sunday, 20 September 2009

Derby College - Roundhouse Campus

The press releases for the redevelopment of the Roundhouse in Derby have recently gone out, with features on the scheme in both Building Design and the AJ.

While I'm happy to acknowledge that Maber Architects have done a terrific job with the restoration, the lack of coverage of the schemes exterior spaces has been disappointing. I should point out that for the best part of the last year my colleagueLee Sycamore, with able assistance from Michael Samuels, have been working their arses off to give the buildings an exciting setting!

For those not in the know, a 'roundhouse' is a large circular building, where trains are turned around and worked on. The Roundhouse at Derby is generally considered to be the first of it's type (built in 1839). Until the development began, the whole site was in ruin, but it has been listed as an exemplar scheme including listed buildings, by English Heritage. Original features and nods to the sites former use have been left all over the site, like the rails running up to the site entrance in the top image.

Last month, I was lucky enough to have a bit of a preview of the scheme, ahead of it’s grand opening in October. The exterior spaces look terrific and I am fully expecting it to have more coverage in the future, and probably some awards. I actually took loads of photo’s, but for the sake of everyone’s sanity, I’ve only posted a select few below.

A new plaza at the entrance to the College.

A view from the front plaza to the new link building (note the fancy pants, colour-changing glass).

View to link building from main avenue.

Another of the link building from the lumpy-bumpy College lawns.

View across College lawns.

Engine shed from College Lawns.

College lawns into Plaza.

View back to the Clock Tower from planted area.

Link block from another angle (note the different colour of the glazing).

Another original building.

A bit more context.

View across main public realm area from the new College building.

Note how the patterns of interior and exterior surfacing match.

More chequed paving (which again matches the interiors.

A nicely detailed wall/informal seat on the edge of the College lawn.

Nicely paving!

A view back to the new College building.

Love the glazing , although I realise this probably makes me a bit like the little girl who loves anything glittery.

The 'Roundhouse' interior is worth a look - it's a really extraordinary space.

The roof is an absolute wonder of engineering.

Edit: I see the consistently excellent, Bad British Architecture blog has picked up on the main college building: comment!

1 comment:

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