Building’s student panel from Nottingham Trent share their thoughts on the building in Blackburn
This is a picture of the Beacon Centre designed by DLA Architecture for client Blackburn College. The dramatic building, with its shimmering black brickwork and perforated dark-blue stainless-steel cladding, pays homage to the East Lancashire landscape that surround the former mill town of Blackburn. Here’s what our student panel have to say about it…
Adrian Cohen’s verdict
Instantaneously dramatic, eye-catching and almost dark. This contemporary piece, the Beacon Centre of Blackburn College uses harsh colours and strong bulky shapes to appear eye-catching and unique to any passerby.
Not only is it impressive in aesthetic look but it contains many green features such as a BREEAM ‘excellent’ rating in thermal design, solar thermal water collectors and air source heat pumps.
Instantaneously dramatic, eye-catching and almost dark, Adrian Cohen
Therefore, it is immediately striking as a great functional building caring for the students it aims to house. However, the dark, striking colours and harsh techniques appear somewhat unsuited in some of the greener surroundings.
Maybe this points to a future of this design, where in order to appear different, one must contrast a piece to the environment. It certainly is effective in attracting attention.
James Fairweather’s verdict
The Beacon Centre’s materiality provides the building with a distinct character. The stainless steel exterior mixed with the dark grey brick provides a striking visual that not only works aesthetically but also responds to the buildings environment.
This building is a personal favourite, it is a response to its location, is built with a clear aesthetic focus, uses a variety of materials and has a design that can be explored by the viewer, James Fairweather
The contrast between the two materials is accentuated by the reflective properties of the stainless steel, the interlocking shapes change depending on where the structure is viewed from finding fluidity within its angular properties.
This building is a personal favourite, it is a response to its location, is built with a clear aesthetic focus, uses a variety of materials and has a design that can be explored by the viewer.
Adrian Cohen and James Fairweather are studying architecture at Nottingham Trent University.
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