Scott Brownrigg was appointed to design and build the new Mulberry Universal Technical College (UTC) on the former Bow fire station site in East London.
The UTC provides places for 800 students aged 14-19, specialising in the creative and health industries. Teaching accommodation is arranged over five main storeys and a mezzanine floor, with facilities including a 250-seat purpose built theatre, media suites, a theatre construction and craft workshop and specialist health suites. From the ground floor, a long processional stair takes visitors on a journey through a full height lightwell at the centre of the building, to the heart of the school located at the second floor. Breakout teaching and learning areas are spread throughout giving students access to agile learning spaces which are more akin to industry and the commercial world than a traditional school.
Externally, the design deals with key planning concerns regarding size and mass by stepping back from the site boundary and treating the scheme as three separate elements; the solid concrete block podium at the base, the teaching block in the middle and the health and science floors at the top, both clad in two different profile cladding panels which aim to give the building texture, rhythm and interest as the sun travels during the day.