The Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths (STEAM) Academy is a 8500m² sixth form education facility for Bridgend College at their campus in Pencoed. The building includes workshops for vehicle maintenance, welding, M&E, Pneumatics and CNC, laboratories, classrooms, staff areas, multi-functional hall, café and break-out social learning spaces.
The project involves the relocation of existing specialist FF&E from Bridgend College’s Cowbridge Road campus plus the provision of new. Rio carried out extensive surveys of the existing facilities and specialist equipment so that the physical dimensions and working practices were fully understood, and to ensure that the new spaces were designed effectively and efficiently.
The establishment of the STEAM Academy will enable the College to enhance its STEM offering in collaboration with industry, creating real work environments and directly supporting key STEM initiatives prioritised by the Welsh Government. The STEAM Academy’s location, adjacent to the Digital Creative Cluster located in Pencoed Technology Park, will develop closer working relationships between the College and large-scale and SME companies, improving the commercial engagement, growth and income of the College to the direct benefit of the students.
The design approach has been driven by a desire to create a building of high architectural excellence, which is contemporary and reflects a modern high-quality teaching facility, whilst paying deference to the existing campus environment. The building has adopted a collegiate aesthetic employing warm tones and textures with crisp detailing and well considered proportions. The nature of the architecture is sober, robust and confident and will enhance the quality of the campus and the experience of both staff and students.
See the scheme brought to life in our virtual fly-through animation here.