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The Corporation

Posted: 12/05/14

£11 million college facility scoops building ‘Oscar’

Tom Stevens, of West Nottinghamshire College (left), and Alan Simpson and Dave Shoreman, of architects IBI Taylor Young (centre and right), pictured in front of the college’s £11 million Lifestyle Academy with the building ‘Oscar’ it scooped at a glittering awards ceremony.

The Lifestyle Academy has scooped a prestigious building 'Oscar'

The state-of-the-art facility – which is training the next generation of hairstylists, beauticians, holistic therapists, chefs and hospitality professionals – won the infrastructure category at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) East Midlands Awards 2014 in recognition of its contribution to the area.

It fought off competition from Mansfield Bus Station, Leicester Fire Station HQ and Kelmarsh Hall, Northamptonshire, to claim the prestigious accolade, which recognises outstanding achievement by a project or programme of infrastructure works including those that deliver essential facilities or services.

Judges at the annual awards, held at the Leicester Marriott Hotel earlier this month (Friday 2 May) and featuring 41 entries across eight categories, described the building – which opened its doors in March 2013 – as a ‘living piece of social infrastructure’, and praised the college for what can be achieved by the ‘thoughtful addition of buildings’.

Designed for the college by the Manchester-based architectural practice and built by Mansell Construction Services, the building boasts 4,000 sq. m of teaching and learning space set over three floors at its Derby Road campus including hair and beauty salons, nail bar, spa and fine-dining restaurant, which are open to the public to give students real-life industry experience.

It forms the centrepiece of the college’s ongoing £40m investment in its estate and facilities across Mansfield and Ashfield.

Mr Stevens, the college’s executive director of capital projects and estates, said: “This award is highly-fitting recognition of the impact the Lifestyle Academy is having on our students’ education and training and, crucially, on their employment prospects.

“It was designed especially to ensure students on vocational programmes learn in the most realistic working environment possible while equipping learners on academic courses with all the modern resources they expect from a 21st century college.

“I am immensely proud the judges deemed the building a worthy winner.”

Mr Simpson, IBI Taylor Young’s studio principal, said: “The building provides significant educational infrastructure and architectural impact, acting as a key gateway for the college and Mansfield as a whole. It is having a hugely positive effect on the learning experience of thousands of students, which is exactly what we set out to achieve when designing the facility.”

The RICS Awards celebrate the most inspirational initiatives in the land, property and construction sectors. Awards are not purely based on the building that has been submitted; they are about the project as a whole.

Judges take into consideration the impact it has had on the community, how the end user feels about the scheme and what really makes it stand out from the rest.