- States of Guernsey Committee for Education, Sport & Culture
A major Further Education project on the island of Guernsey
The Les Ozouets Campus’s new buildings will bring together the Sixth Form Centre, the Guernsey Institute, the GTA University Centre and the Institute of Health & Social Care Studies. It will provide a wide range of industry-standard facilities; from workshops to simulated health care suites to technology-rich environments and sports. These new facilities are arranged around a central hub space and include new general and specialist teaching spaces associated with break-out and social learning environments.
This commission follows previous educational projects delivered on the island by the practice, including the RIBA Award-winning Les Beaucamps High School completed in 2013.
- lead architect:
- Design Engine Architects
- local architect:
- Tyrrell Dowinton Associates
- project manager:
- Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL)
- structural engineer:
- Dorey, Lyle & Ashman
- quantity surveyor:
- Gardiner & Theobald (G&T)
- environmental engineer:
- Buro Happold & Channel Design Consultants
- fire consultant:
- Jensen Hughes
- acoustic consultant:
- Sandy Brown
- Design Engine Architects
The scheme incorporates the existing Princess Royal Centre for Performing Arts on the site, integrating this into a new east west main building arranged around a south facing landscaped piazza. The construction and engineering building runs north south incorporating a covered route to the sports building located to the far north. A second piazza sits between the main building and Sixth Form Centre.
The campus plan is structured around the external spaces and a positive landscape narrative, creating additional external amenity opportunities and protected microclimates. The Les Ozouets Campus is an opportunity to create an inspirational and sustainable learning environment that encompasses both the character of this dynamic organisation and that of the island.
Sustainability & external envelope
We are delighted to have been awarded this opportunity to lead the design of what promises to be a transformational project for the island. It is hoped that the campus will become a destination and place that celebrates learning and culture at the very heart of Guernsey.”David Gausden, Director, Design Engine Architects
A key concern regarding the design of the building envelope was the orientation of the proposed buildings on the site. This resulted in a “north light” aesthetic for the workshops and studio roofs. We also tried to restrict the number of teaching spaces on the south-facing facades to reduce overheating. This approach lowers energy use for mechanical cooling and reduces reliance on external louvres that would otherwise be needed for shading. We were particularly careful to limit the use of Brise Soleil to avoid maintenance issues related to the seagulls that are common in the local area, together with the further benefit of eliminating unnecessary thermal bridges from the connections through the external envelope.
As architects, we are increasingly being encouraged by the engineering profession to consider the weight of our buildings. A lighter building helps reduce the concrete foundations and structural slabs that support them, elements that account for the lion’s share of embodied carbon in construction. This has been achieved by keeping frame spans within efficient limits and rationalising the structure and connections to avoid imposing greater loads onto the foundations.
To further reduce weight, we have intentionally adopted a lightweight aluminium cladding system. It is a zipped, seamed system that does not require a wholesale removal of the external wall when partial replacement or renewal is required. The facade’s standing seams generate a vertical grain and texture that is self-cleansing and avoids horizontal ledges where dust and dirt can stain the surface.
Recognising that aluminium has a high embodied carbon, we are looking to source recycled material to construct the building and make it easy to repurpose the product at the end of its life, working within circular economy principles.
We have developed an aesthetic narrative that describes the composition of the building’s elevations, generating a variety in the rhythm and density of the vertical grain. This takes inspiration from artists who have worked with forms, lines and grains while taking cues from the local island’s architecture that often adopts a free composition, a balanced asymmetrical approach.
Layering has been applied to the façade where the vertical grain is conceptually peeled away to reveal a smoother surface associated with cuts and setbacks within the overall form. These have been expressed in a slightly different metallic hue or a contrasting dark grey. The programme generates expansive elevations so this technique of carving and pushing into the main forms helps to create visual variation and articulation. Such interventions generate colonnades, entrances and terraces, which act as signalling points of entry and access. The main Institute entrance facade is deliberately more playful in its patterning and colour to signpost the Performing Arts Centre and Main Building Cafe.