Suffolk One Centre
Ipswich

Architects: Bond Bryan Architects 
Bond Bryan Director: Geoff Halliwell and Jeff Stibbons 
Project Managers: Turner & Townsend 
Services Engineers: John Packer Associates 
Civil/Structural Engineers: Faber Maunsell     
Contractor: ISG                                                                                

Construction Value: £52 million 
Completion Date: 2011 
Gross Internal Floor Area: 20,200 square metres 
BREEAM Sustainability Rating: Very Good

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This visionary and ambitious institution has capacity for 2,200 sixteen to nineteen years’ students, including students with learning difficulties, and 200 younger students on day-release from local schools.

Designing for the then embryonic institution without teaching staff in post was an unusual challenge.  A working-group of two acted as our clients; together we took the curriculum plan and used the knowledge and experience of our Research and Development Team to identify a diverse range of vocational and academic spaces.

At the heart of this learning community is an elongated atrium containing social/study space; within it a freestanding timber pod encloses the main learning resource centre.

A sports hall and specialist vocational facilities border the north side of the atrium, providing acoustic shelter to the remainder of the development from an adjacent arterial road. 

To the south are arranged three academic “classroom-clusters”. At the centre of each cluster is a triangular “break-out” space; teachers value these spaces, their lesson planning encouraging routine use.

Suffolk One won the “Best Educational Building” at the East Anglia Building Excellence Awards 2011.  The judges described it as, “a high performance structure combining quality features to create an inspirational environment for learning”. 

“Bond Bryan very much understand learning and education”

Alan Whittaker, Principal, Suffolk One

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