South Staffordshire College

Competition-winning proposal

11 November 2021

We are delighted to share our competition-winning proposal for the creation of a new central campus building within the historic town setting of Tamworth for South Staffordshire College (SSC).

The ambition is to create a building which will strengthen connections between the college and the local community, forming a new social hub and stimulating economic growth in the town centre. Part funded by the ‘Future High Streets Fund’, the scheme will replace a redundant department store building which is beyond economical repair and is unsuitable for conversion. The site, which forms part of a wider council-led regeneration masterplan, is a prominent corner facing the market square and a Grade I listed medieval church.

Our design response is based on a detailed analysis of the historical grain prior to the 60s development. The articulation of architectural elements and facades reflects both the historical grain and the three core activities within the college programme– retail, civic, and industrial.

The central space is the focal point of the building acting as a secondary active frontage mediating between the public and private college uses. It serves as a lightwell and as a visual tool for wayfinding and showcasing subjects, as well as providing a social space for informal meetings, café breakout, workspace and event space.

We are now working with the College, their representative Peter Marsh Consulting, and the multidisciplinary team from MCBains to develop the proposals through RIBA stage 3.

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