Coffey Architects has been chosen to design a new multi-million-pound digital technology hub for Norwich City College. Currently called ‘The Digi-Tech Factory’, it will house the college’s full- and part-time technology, engineering and design courses in one building. Its presence will add to the already thriving digital tech sector in Norfolk and Suffolk by supporting the teaching and research of nearly 500 students, providing experience opportunities to over 100 apprentices and creating new jobs on campus.
Coffey Architects’ proposals, with support from local architect James Lee Burgess, utilise the practices’ own research into light and materiality to create a sustainable and lucent learning environment. The design includes a three-storey building with a sawtooth roofline, wrapped in a perforated screen façade with a large entry canopy. The thoughtful designs shift from the standard school-like environment, offering a creative industry atmosphere to energise students and prepare them for future employment.
In addition to creating a new facility for Norwich City college, The Digi-Tech Factory will positively affect the wider campus with the creation of pedestrianised walkways and a spacious square. It also improves physical and visual connections between campus and landscape.
In addition to internal funding, Norwich City College has been awarded £6.1m by the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership to realise the project. Designs will be submitted for planning approval imminently and it is expected to be open for the 2020-21 academic year.
Project director Lee Marsden said, “The Digi-Tech Factory is an extremely exciting project for our studio. Our higher education portfolio has been growing steadily, and the opportunity to create such an innovative and important building for Norwich City College further stimulates our passion for light and spaces of learning.”