The RIBA accolade is regarded as a positive step for the college as it marks the first new building to be completed on site and follows a comprehensive engagement with the local community.
Judges described the building, designed by Glenn Howells, as ‘elegant’ and an ‘essay in construction’ for its students by instilling the ethic of quality workmanship. More than 300 students from the college helped Morgan Sindall with its construction.
It comes only two months after the building received a regional RIBA award. The plaudits have raised the profile of the college and the wider vision for Wirral Waters in the national press including the Guardian, and among leading architecture and placemaking trade press.
James Whittaker, group development director at Peel, said: “This project demonstrates true collaboration between Peel, the public sector and Wirral Met College – a truly exemplary partnership that shows how regeneration happens. We will continue to work in close partnership with the college to ensure that the students benefit from Wirral Waters – not only in construction but in other areas of their curriculum.”
The 38,000 sq ft college campus, located on the Birkenhead dockland at Wirral Waters, also involved landscape architects, BCA Landscape, and masterplanner Parkinson Inc. When it opened in September 2016 it became the first new building within the 500-acre Wirral Waters project.
Richard Mawdsley, Director of Development at Wirral Waters added, “It’s satisfying to receive recognition for our strategy, which has always been focused on placemaking. We want to create a sustainable place with a long term future, that has a real sense of social value, benefiting local people, developing skills for local people in the area. This project sets the bar for the pipeline of further projects emerging at Wirral Waters.”
Photo by Paul Miller