UTC wins heritage award for building's design

A university technical college (UTC) housed in converted Victorian engineering workshops has won a Sussex Heritage Trust Award for the quality and excellence of its building’s design.

The Sussex Heritage Trust’s Public and Community Building award was presented to the team behind UTC@harbourside’s riverside campus by the trust’s President, Rt Hon Lord Egremont, DL, at its annual awards luncheon held last week.

The judges praised UTC@harbourside in Newhaven, East Sussex, for providing an inspiring and impressively equipped environment for a school, highlighting that this was an outstanding regeneration project of high architectural quality and local historical significance.

The conversion and extension of two 19th-century Grade II listed marine and carpenters’ workshops at Railway Quay, Newhaven to house the new UTC was designed by HKS Architects, and built by Kier Construction. Heritage features that have been retained include Victorian brickwork, cast iron pillars and a gantry crane once used to lift locomotive engines. The UTC opened in September 2015 for 14 to 18 year olds from across Sussex interested in STEM subjects and provides a 21st century learning environment with a fully equipped engineering suite, science super-lab, computer suite and business zone.

“This is wonderful recognition for the successful transformation of these prominent and familiar Newhaven buildings for UTC@harbourside,” says Paul Bevan, chair of governors. “The conversion honours their industrial heritage while providing modern, well-equipped teaching spaces that inspire our students to be the engineers, scientists and innovators of tomorrow.”

“Not only does [the award] recognise the huge challenges with rejuvenating old buildings but also the hard work and commitment put in by the client, contractor and design team,” adds Alfonso Padro, vice-president and director of education for HKS Architects. “The uniqueness of the project has allowed us to realise UTC@harbourside’s vision through showcasing the building’s industrial past, aligned with creating a state of the art teaching facility for pioneering engineers of the future.”

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