The Digi-Tech Factory offers teaching facilities for digital technology students at the Norwich City College that are intended to feel more like a professional workplace than a classroom.
The design by London-based Coffey Architects comprises three floors of workspace set within a factory-like building with a serrated roofline and a layer of white perforated metal cladding – not dissimilar to its 22 Handyside Street office building at King’s Cross..
“The thoughtful designs shift from the standard school-like environment, offering a creative industry atmosphere to energise students and prepare them for future employment,” says Coffey Architects.
The Digi-Tech Factory will house Norwich City College’s full- and part-time technology, engineering and design courses under one roof, as part of the creation of a multi-million-pound digital technology hub at the further and higher education college. The scheme is part of a wider project to position Norfolk as a centre for digital technology industries.
A smaller ground floor creates a covered plaza adjacent the entrance and a covered walkway along the street-facing facade of the building. Inside, the steel structure has been left exposed through the circulatory atrium, creating an industrial aesthetic for the common areas.
“An important part of the building’s overall narrative, the physical relationship with digital technology begins before stepping inside the Digi-Tech Factory,” says the practice.
“Students, staff and visitors can understand how the building works through its industrial shape, exposed steel work and visible mechanics. This is a physical expression of a ‘part to whole’ relationship which is a fundamental line of thought in computational disciplines and coding.”
Bright yellow paintwork demarcates doors to individual workspaces, in the only accent of colour to the white interiors.