The award-winning Creative Arts Building for City College Norwich has revolutionised their offer of creative arts space, combining a variety of teaching subjects in a new single-site, collaborative facility within a light-filled, spacious building with a distinct and locally iconic character.

The large, three storey education space provides general multi-purpose teaching spaces, connected by vital informal social ‘ideas’ areas and intermingled with specialist spaces such as acoustically sensitive music practice rooms for the faculty.

“The Creative Arts Building at City College Norwich provides students and staff with a dynamic and collaborative learning space that inspires and engenders excellence. Floor to ceiling windows flood the ground floor classrooms with light; with the open-plan design of the Art studios encouraging collaborative learning. The Creative Arts Building can be quickly transformed into an exhibition space with clean, sculptural white walls designed to best showcase student work.”

Guy Parkinson, Curriculum Programme Manager for Creative & Performing Arts, City College Norwich

The Creative Arts Building was a new building designed to house a whole faculty. There was a significance time constraint on the project as it needed to be delivered for a forthcoming academic year. The construction works took place, without incident, on an operational education campus. Purcell led the Graham Group ‘one team approach’, working collaboratively with the client, principal contractor’ own construction team and specialist sub -contractors to deliver a project that achieved a high-quality build, to time and on budget.

Throughout RIBA Stage 4 technical design, the rigor of the design team was praised particularly for its coordination of the early design disciplines into detailed construction proposals. Given our role working from the contractor side, our involvement continued through RIBA Stage 7, beyond the main 2013 completion date through 2014. This included amending defects and post-occupancy review.

In line with the City College’s sustainability and low-carbon aspirations the Stage 4 building design process developed to include numerous low energy and sustainable credentials in order to secure a BREEAM Excellent rating Purcell contributed to debate, provided expert design advice and assisted both cost consultant and 

Graham Group to assess life-cycle costings when selecting and specifying materials, systems or details. The client was involved in the key materials decisions made by the Graham Group with a full appreciation of its true value for money and any impact on the capital expenditure in the context of the future running costs of the building.