Sir Simon Milton Westminster UTC
The brick-clad UTC building provides space for 550 pupils aged between 14-18 year olds, housing a facility with a specialism in engineering, sponsored by the University of Westminster and Network Rail.
Design development for the ‘General Teaching Classrooms’ (GT) creates efficient and good quality teaching spaces, including ‘cluster’ of teaching rooms, to allow for ‘year bases’ and location of Administration Offices and/or Staff bases adjacent to the ‘cluster’, for good passive supervision.
The design exposes as much of the building structure as possible – to reflect the UTC’s specialisms and allow for an honesty in the materials used. As well as meeting the statutory requirement under the building regulations the UTC is designed to meet BREEAM Excellent standard.
LSI were able to offer a design that was sympathetic to the modern history of the building and affordable to build.
Massing, form orientation and façade design evolved to ensure that solar gain is kept to a minimum, whilst suitable balance between heat loss and provision of natural light is achieved and protection is provided against the noise generating aspects of the site. Other means of increasing energy efficiency include the use of a district heating system, high levels of thermal efficiency, a low energy lighting scheme and use of photovoltaic panels.
To gain the confidence of the client, LSI produced a series of quick design studies to demonstrate how their aspiration and concerns could be achieved and resolved within cost constraints. The detail and strategy of areas such as the roof were carefully developed so as to be robust and suitable for use as site storage, minimising the need for remedial work and saving on cost and programme.
The result of our strong and close collaboration is a fantastic and modern, yet traditional, school which provides effective, functional use of space and an inspirational learning environment.
I recommend LSI Architects as a team of good designers who go the extra mile to ensure effective communication with their clients. This has been evident in regular fortnightly meetings and in additional meetings and presentations requested by me as the client entailing liaison with a wider stakeholder group. The strong leadership ethos at the practice is clear at every level. This has delivered a sustained dialogue on design matters which has helped us to deliver a flagship project at the heart of London’s West End.