Merthyr Learning Quarter, Welsh Further Education College building, Architecture, MLQ facility

Merthyr Learning Quarter, Wales : Merthyr Tydfil Building

Merthyr Learning Quarter Building, Wales design by RMJM Architects, UK

7 Nov 2011

RMJM’s Merthyr Learning Quarter is granted planning permission

Planning permission has been granted for the Merthyr Learning Quarter Project (MLQ), which is being designed by RMJM’s London studio.

RMJM was commissioned in July 2010 to improve and expand the ‘learning landscape’ in Merthyr Tydfil through the redevelopment and expansion of the existing further education college and the establishment of new facilities in the town centre.

Merthyr Learning Quarter, Welsh Further Education College
Welsh Further Education College building design image from RMJM Architects

Merthyr Learning Quarter

The new 13,450 square metre college building will accommodate the curriculum areas including science, ICT, technology, arts, hair and beauty, independent living skills, health, catering, business, sports, public services, social sciences and humanities. The building will also house a multifunctional sports hall designed to Sport England standards, along with a nursery and learning zone.

The new building will be accommodated at the southern end of the existing college site, which means that the current college building can remain in operation whilst the MLQ is constructed. Once the new facility is complete, the existing college building will be demolished and the land repurposed to create a college green that will facilitate teaching and learning and provide a visual barrier between the College and the road.

A critical element of this regeneration initiative is the movement of the current sixth form provision from across the five local high schools into the new MLQ facility, so that secondary education, further education and higher education can be provided by the College. This integration enables a broader spectrum of courses to be offered and the wider curriculum will offer increased levels of opportunity, participation and aspiration.

Merthyr Learning Quarter Wales interior design
building design image from RMJM Architects

It will open new pathways to learning and encourage individual growth through outreach as well as creating an attractive and accessible focus for the town and surrounding district.

It is anticipated that a main contractor will be appointed in November 2011 with completion of the new college building scheduled for autumn 2013. Demolition of the existing college building and completion of external landscaping is scheduled to be complete by May 2014.

Stephen Cutler, project director at RMJM, said: “The Merthyr Tydfil Learning Quarter is a fantastic opportunity to create a striking new college, which will transform the lives of a whole community of learners. It is also a remarkable opportunity to create an accessible, attractive and memorable place for Merthyr Tydfil and the surrounding district.

“The MLQ will be a potent force for regeneration and growth. It will be a focus for the community, promoting outreach and attracting a broad spectrum of individuals, both young and old, to experience a new way of learning, with a wide choice of programmes for study.”

John O’Shea, Dean of Merthyr Tydfil College, said: “The Merthyr Learning Quarter will raise the aspirations of all our young people and the community in general – and will make a real contribution to the regeneration of Merthyr Tydfil as an attractive and vibrant place to live, study and work.”

The Merthyr Learning Quarter is being funded by the Welsh Government and is to achieve BREEAM “Excellent” rating as a minimum.

It is a joint venture initiative between Merthyr Tydfil College, Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council and the University of Glamorgan.

Merthyr Learning Quarter images / information from RMJM Architects

RMJM Architects Architects

College Building Designs

Location: Merthyr Tydfil, south Wales, UK

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