Entrance approach
Entrance Foyer
Central atrium space

Hyde Technical College


Hyde Community College is a new 9600 sqm college providing approximately 1230 places (including 180 sixth-form places) for students aged 11-18. The project was delivered as part of the Tameside BSF programme in partnership with Carillion and is located on the same site as Thomas Ashton SEN School, also designed by Rock Townsend.

The new building has been designed to meet the school’s ambitions for transformational learning and includes specific provision for vocational learning, with catering studios, a construction warehouse and hospitality area amongst the facilities.

The concept of the building is strongly influenced by the entrance sequence where the building is seen as part of a progression of garden spaces starting with the area of trees to Old Road and moving into the site with the external and internal school environment gradually revealing itself, offering a variety of social learning opportunities in different types of environment.

The series of ‘internal gardens’ are conceived as rich leaning and social environments with an emphasis on independent learning, places for reflection, discussions, creative generation of ideas and places to meet and socialise. On entering the school the first garden has a strong emphasis on social, providing an area for dining and informal learning. The theatre sits to one side and the dedicated sixth-form area to the other, both overlooking this double height, naturally lit space.

Moving along the building the LRC is revealed with central group study areas and a centrally bookable glass box classroom which together form the heart of the school. From here there is direct connection to the southern learning landscape / external dining and the northern sports pitches.

Further along the building is the core learning environment with classroom clusters to the north and south, each arranged around breakout spaces, overlooking this triple height space. This garden is focussed on science and technology with ground floor labs and studios connecting to this central garden rich in IT facilities.

Towards the back of the building an external courtyard ends the garden sequence and beyond this are the main activity spaces including a sports hall, dance studios, fitness suites, art studios and a dedicated construction warehouse. This area of the building has direct access to the outside spaces and is zoned to enable extended use by the community.

The building’s open circulation and distribution of staff spaces ensures that movement around the school is engaging and safe. The atrium design enables students and staff to see what others are doing as they circulate the building and creates opportunity for student-led learning in the open spaces alongside the teacher-led learning in the classroom spaces that surround them.

Client: Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council & Carillion

Contractor: Carillion Plc

Value: £20m

Photography: Matt Clayton