An award-winning technical college specialising in science and sport, and military establishment providing educational and boarding facilities for 340 sixth-form students, who have been selected for officer training in the Army, Navy and Air Force. Located outside the village of Woodhouse Eaves near Loughborough, the site is bounded on one side by a Grade II listed manor house, and historic woodland and farmland on the others. The new campus reflects the local vernacular and responds to the character of the rural English countryside setting.

Design Approach

A strategic brief was developed with our client and their stakeholders, resulting in an overall vision of a place which should be ‘gracious’ with ‘immediate visual impact’ to create an environment in which young people are enabled and encouraged to reach the highest academic and personal standards that reflect the ethos of the Armed Services.

The Forum provides a key focus at the main arrival point, with 3m high sculptural needles of black granite, framed by clipped evergreen oak trees set within a circular lawn. The tree-lined College Green creates space for special events as well as informal use. The Lawn area of the residential development is centred around two oval lawns, nestled between mature tree planting, providing a more domestic feel for the students.

Acting as a buffer between the college buildings and the wider landscape, a comprehensive sports facility provides football, rugby, and hockey pitches, a cricket field and synthetic pitch. Other outdoor sports facilities include netball, tennis and volleyball courts, athletics facilities, a high ropes confidence course and obstacle course.

The forms of the buildings follow the natural typography of the land, and retain the mature landscape of the site. The new sports facilities were carefully graded to follow the contours and enable protection of pond areas, ditches and mature woodland as part of an ecological management plan. Dead trees were retained and bat boxes incorporated into the residential blocks to encourage nesting. Roofs of buildings were covered with sedum-reducing stormwater runoff and provided wildlife habitat

The campus has been carefully designed to encourage biodiversity through the integration of existing green infrastructure assets with new green roofs and planting.

“I believe that the careful landscaping plan put into place in 2005 is now in 2010 genuinely enhancing the whole feel and look of the college....... in short the landscaping is in my view enhancing our students learning experience whilst at the same time creating a lovely residential environment for our student and staff population.”

Tony Halliwell, Principal

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