A new city centre development for Derby College providing a high quality, post-16 education facility.




Derby College
6,600 m2 GIA
Derby Civic Society - George Larkin Awards - High Commendation
Education - Further
Landscape Architecture

The 6600m2 college accommodation, in two wings, is set around a central atrium space that forms the heart of the new college.

The atrium design was intended to act as a ventilation generator by providing controlled extract at high level where the heat generated by solar gain creates buoyancy. The entry of air at low level above the doors creates a strong current which enables interior rooms to be naturally ventilated, supplemented by supply air to the inner spaces which is provided by ducting from the unpolluted zones above the roof.

Automatic opening lights at high level are computer controlled by a Building Management system, releasing air flow as required to maintain a temperate environment.


The levels of light created by the large glazed areas enables an economical design for the interior rooms and the use of solar energy minimises heating costs. The building has been successfully audited for energy consumption since completion.



maber Landscape Architects carried out extensive landscape design to both Phases One and Two of the Joseph Wright Centre on Willow Row, Derby.

The street has been pedestrianised by the City Council and this gave opportunity to form three major islands of planting as frontage to the development, around the main entrance courtyard and as a visual barrier to the open aspect onto the public paved areas.

The planting was designed to create an attractive evergreen environment with trees and shrubs of various foliage shapes and colours, which are also robust and easy to maintain.


maber have shown an excellent understanding of the FE sector and its processes and constraints. They have a good grasp of space planning and utilisation and offer sound advice and solutions to complicated design issues. We have always had excellent service from maber who we feel put the client’s needs above any other consideration.

Nigel Gell
Deputy Principal Derby College


A second phase of the development with additional teaching space and a music school was also completed recently.