Sep 20, 2018 Last Updated 8:58 AM, Sep 17, 2018

Opening up opportunities at Bradford College

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The Advanced Technology Centre (ATC), which forms the latest Bond Bryan project at Bradford College, has now opened its doors to students. Being adjacent to the much talked about David Hockney Building, also designed by Bond Bryan Architects and shortlisted for a number of awards, this new addition further adds to the impressive portfolio of Bradford College.


The eco-friendly campus features solar panels, a bio-diverse roof and super-efficient plant, putting the building on track to achieve BREEAM Excellent rating. The design creates a flexible solution that is distinctive, a high quality addition to Great Horton Road, complementing the new campus and adding to the regeneration of Bradford. Measuring 3600m² over three storeys, the building has high quality customisable workshop and exhibition space as well as office accommodation, meeting rooms, video conferencing facilities and seminar rooms.

The brief and solution

The original concept was to create a building that could provide a series of flexible open plan spaces for the predicted future needs of the curriculum. Using the college’s education requirements and flexibility as the driver for the internal layouts, this allowed Bond Bryan to work within an extremely constrained site to create spaces that could adapt in the future. These included large-scale workshop spaces with infrastructure created for adaptability as well as the more traditional classroom/office based spaces all tied together with large open plan collaborative spaces, which echo the larger building across the road.

Positioned right next to the David Hockney Building, the Advanced Technology Centre’s design has a clear dialogue with the original building’s aesthetic, both internally and externally. The design uses a similar fenestration pattern, purposefully resonating a sample of the material and colour scheme from before and utilises its folding planes, however it uses a clean white rendered box to carve out brick and stone inserts that respond to the materials of its ‘big brother’ next door.

A key part of the design was to link the various campus buildings through a series of external landscaped spaces that begin at the main entrance of the new building. The entrance canopy is dramatic and reaches out to the public with a warm timber facade, mimicking the larger more formal entrance of the David Hockney Building at a more appropriate scale for its context.

A large picture window, set at a similar level to the raked pedestrian walkway, invites the passer by to view into the feature laboratory spaces to really showcase the work of the College and their partners. The schemes location creates an important gateway into a new learning quarter for the City, centered around the David Hockney building and its landscaped hub space.

Matt Hutton, Associate Director at Bond Bryan Architects, explained: “Having previously worked with Bradford College we were excited to deliver yet another outstanding facility for students, staff and local businesses alike. The brief was to provide a building which complements the much larger David Hockney Building in terms of vision and educational aspiration, with a series of multi use flexible spaces for teaching and learning that encompass traditional classrooms as well as high tech laboratory environments to support realistic working environments.

The David Hockney Building had utilised Building Information Modelling (BIM) and had successfully demonstrated the use of open technologies to exchange models with the main contractor BAM Construction. This project had won Bond Bryan a number of BIM awards including the company’s first international awards for the use of cutting edge techniques and for exploring the complexities and issues related to using a variety of software from different vendors.

Utilising BIM

The ATC project was a further collaborative effort with BAM and many of the lessons learnt on the David Hockey Building were implemented on this subsequent project. Bond Bryan again produced open format models utilising buildingSMART’s IFC format (covered by ISO 16739:2013) to exchange models with BAM. The models were used to coordinate the building services with the architecture within extremely tight service volumes. The coordination in this instance was carried out by BAM but with regular input and engagement from Bond Bryan, working together to ensure issues were dealt with prior to construction on site, reducing the need for rework.

Bond Bryan also used the models for communicating the 3-dimensional design to the client and other stakeholders, for traditional drawing output and for architectural schedules.

Building contractors BAM Construction further utilised BIM, to manage design, plan site activities and trialling direct links from Bond Bryan’s architectural design model for ‘setting out’. The use of digital workflows reduced the reliance on traditional methods of ‘Setting Out’ and Verification of a building. In the construction industry, this refers to the act of measuring and marking out a full size plan of a building or element of a building on site, and verifying that what was built is in accordance with the design. This would be done using a combination of a total station, tape and on paper records. All records are now integrated with the project BIM without the need for paper records.

Playing an important role

The ATC is a leading centre providing high quality, cutting edge courses. Adjacent to Bradford College’s new campus in the heart of the city, The ATC provides young people and adults with access to state-of-the-art technology to develop the specialist skills needed to meet the needs of employers regionally, nationally and internationally in the Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics sectors. It will play an important role in the future prosperity of the region, providing curriculum and training that will develop skills in shortage areas and increase employability.

Andy Welsh, CEO of Bradford College Group commented: “Our new £10m Advanced Technology Centre provides an opportunity to work collaboratively with local employers to develop a space that responds to skills shortages by using the very latest technologies to shape innovation in the local economy.”

The project was funded by the Skills Funding Agency and Bradford Council and BAM were appointed as contractor delivering the project on time and budget ready for the start of the academic year.

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