Northern Regional College, Ballymena

Northern Regional College

Client: Northern Regional College

Completion: December 2024

Value: £27.6m

Project Summary

This exciting new build project was delivered on the existing campus site, while the original Ballymena College remained fully operational. The new scheme consists of two tall linear accommodation blocks set around a central atrium space. The west block (4 storey) sits at an angle to the east block (5 storey) creating a dynamic atrium volume, wider at the main entrances and tapering to the rear.

The atrium is the heart of the building forming a light, bright and airy space that is full of activity.

Enclosed by the linear teaching blocks, on one side there are classrooms overlooking the atrium via large glazed openings; on the other side, the corridor runs full length of the building, creating a gallery along the atrium edge.

A feature “learning stair” rises from the entrance to the canteen on the first floor bridge, drawing the eye down the atrium. Walkways span the atrium at the upper levels, linking one teaching block with the other, providing space for students to socialise or study, but also delivering efficient circulation. Rooflights along the length of the atrium will provide natural daylighting whilst internal glazing on the atrium facades at the first and second floor will bring light into the teaching spaces

Benefits

The new Ballymena College is a key partner in the regeneration of the wider areas. Located adjacent to the new St Patricks Barracks re-development the scheme is conceived within an overall masterplan for the area. Key community benefits include:

  • The ethos of the building is to create an inspiring space for students, staff and visitors
  • The design provides an inclusive College with the highest standards for accessibility
  • The plans incorporate all the accommodation required in the NRC’s Schedule of Accommodation, with specific areas providing direct community access
  • The building will create an urban edge to the new Link Road, which will become a key approach to Ballymena
  • The design takes full advantage of the views over the Braid River and countryside to Slemish Mountain

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