Working in collaboration with Harry Gugger Studio, Friend and Company were shortlisted for this prestigious competition to design a new £16M higher education dance school in Sidcup, Kent. Guided by the angular plot lines of the site, the serpentine form of linked “barns” loops back on itself with a new theatre in the centre of the campus. The college’s drama, singing and other teaching spaces are arrayed around the inner “quad” on the lower level. Linked to this loop of barns, an existing school building will be retained and renovated to house the college’s administrative and smaller academic programmes with minimal impact on its interior.
Inspired by nearby woodlands of deciduous hardwood trees, we proposed a campus which creates a clearly defined sequence of external spaces that reinforce Bird College’s links with the local community as well as signalling the changing seasons.
The new campus will offer students the opportunity to study in a creative and inspiring atmosphere of an independent, specialist dance, music and performance institution. The design team have considered how simple and beautiful architecture can help deliver an exemplary student experience.