The Harbourside sixth form college campus for 1,200 students is located within a highly-sustainable location in close proximity to the amenities, bus and train services of Port Talbot town centre. It is positioned to allow for future expansion if required by NPTC Group whilst providing a strong frontage to the PDR and Harbour Way. The site is significantly constrained by the existing foul drainage, which bisects the site and pushes the building footprint to the south. Behind this frontage, the building orientation will provide a sheltered approach to the main entrance that takes the visitor into the campus' main hall, library and seating/social spaces.
The building plan looks to challenge the traditional teaching block arrangement with the intervention of both internal flexible spaces and external social courtyards. The teaching accommodation wraps around these spaces, providing flexible teaching wings that can be configured and sized in a number of different ways to suit the needs of NPTC Group. The teaching wings are unified by the main access routes that both orientate and link these spaces to the social hub. Vertical circulation is provided within each internal flexible space giving intimacy to each teaching block.
A sustainable holistic approach has been adopted to deliver a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rated design that will limit its impact on climate change and enhance the local environment. The design utilises key design principles to deliver an efficient thermal envelope that will maximise daylight levels whilst controlling solar gain and glare. Each classroom will be ventilated utilising an atrium design for both summer and winter modes with the use of the exposed thermal mass offering cooling potential.
The building envelop will comprise of a combination of metal cladding, structural glazing, facing and glazed brickwork, vertical metal louvres and screening in the departmental gardens. This combination will provide a landmark building for NPTC Group that will be an outstanding learning environment.