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Lowestoft College given colourful and bold revamp

PUBLISHED: 12:01 13 January 2015 | UPDATED: 12:01 13 January 2015

Lowestoft College has had a makeover

Lowestoft College has had a makeover

Copyright David Woodcock Photography Limited

A prominent Lowestoft building earmarked for demolition has received a bold revamp – thanks to a company in Norwich.

Lowestoft’s new-look college block.  Picture: David Woodcock PhotographyLowestoft’s new-look college block. Picture: David Woodcock Photography

Structural engineers Canham Consulting, based in School Lane, played a key role in a multi-million pound project for Lowestoft College to restore the building using sustainable technology.

With the six-storey tower block forming a principal part of Lowestoft College – and a dominant feature of the East Coast skyline – Canham Consulting provided expert advice to transform the facility.

Key to the transformation – nicknamed project chameleon, because of its shimmering, colour-changing appearance – has been an energy-efficient aluminium cladding, which changes colour in the sunlight.

Rob Panter, a director of Canham Consulting, said: “As a company we are very proud to have been involved, both in investigating the building’s primary skeleton and as part of the design team.

“The result is quite stunning and Canham Consulting is delighted to have been a part of it.

“The aluminium cladding used means the building changes colour from a bronzy-brown to a light green, depending on the light conditions, angle of sunlight, time of day and the direction you are viewing it from,” he added.

“We’ve worked successfully with the college for many years and we were confident that with a good design team all pulling together we could deliver, despite the tight timeframe.”

The Skills Funding Agency, which awarded a grant of £3million for the college’s £4.5million renovation project, said the work had to be finished by September – a delivery window of just eight months.

Jon Bonham, Lowestoft College’s estate manager, said: “If we hadn’t done the work now, the building would probably have had to be demolished within five years – and we would have lost 3,000sq m of teaching space.”

Canham Consulting carried out an investigation into the condition of the building’s concrete skeleton, sampling materials and structural design and ensured the spectacular new look was ready for students when they returned in September.

Mr Bonham added: “Canham Consulting were key partners in the process. They have always delivered for us…and they have done a very good job for us again.

“The result is a complete transformation of an ugly, run-down 1960s tower block, which has been given a new hi-tech skin – and the appearance of a brand new building.

“The college now has a building which is now good for 20 or 30 years.”


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