Aylesbury College

AXIS House transformed the Aylesbury College campus by revamping spaces with custom joinery, sustainable materials, and adaptable designs to enhance student learning experiences.

  • area / size 12,000 sqft
  • Completed 2023
  • Revamping a campus
    The Buckinghamshire Group of Colleges is an educational institute providing GCSE and A-Level education, as well as vocational programmes, practical studies and general further education. One of three sites in the group, the Aylesbury Campus provides a contemporary workspace for 3,800 students and includes a Life Skills Centre, a restaurant, deli and an extensive gym.

    Earlier in the year, the campus identified three areas for refurbishment: their Learning Resource Centres and a suite of beauty rooms. After discussion with students and staff, designs were drawn up to align with the current and future needs of the college and education fit-out companies were invited to tender.

    AXIS House was chosen as a result of our project understanding and outstanding track record of seamless project delivery within the education sector.

    A 10-week Transformation
    Working to a 10 week deadline, we stripped out and re-fit the 12,000 sq ft space, creating two Learning Centres and the beauty rooms, installing custom joinery, fixtures, fittings and equipment to improve the students’ learning experience.

    Working alongside the client, our team further developed the designs, upgrading some finishes and tweaking the design and furniture choices to optimise the space. This included suggestions for different colour choices to give the space a more mature feel, and designing custom joinery, such as the wood around the stairwell, to bring extra textural elements to the space. AXIS House produced CGIs of the revised designs, and delivered the project, including the necessary upgrades to the HVAC and installing a smart lighting system.

    An adaptable, ‘grown-up’ learning space
    The college wanted an adaptable space that could be changed to suit various learning experiences and events. For example, the library team run regular staff training sessions, so needed a layout configuration and furniture choices that would more easily facilitate this. Creating a space that was ‘not just a one-trick pony”. Since the fit-out, the team hosted 60 staff on a training session and “it was no problem at all. We could have easily fit more in!”

    Another key requirement was to create a space that would motivate students to come in and study responsibly. “The old space used to feel quite hard and cold, without any personality.” AXIS House recommended design elements to make the space feel more mature, preparing students for higher education. The college wanted them to feel like the space was theirs, to give them a sense of ownership and draw them into the learning experience.

    Carefully chosen specifications
    To create a calm, welcoming atmosphere, cushion-backed carpeting looks fantastic and provides excellent acoustics. AXIS House also installed a smart, DALI lighting system that auto-adjusts brightness, depending on ambient light levels. This reduces harm from glare and prevents eye strain. Both these systems also helped the sustainability of the project, with the carpet being made from recycled bottles, and the lighting saving energy as it auto-dims.

    AXIS House also oversaw the design and installation of custom joinery projects, including inbuilt banquette seating, a custom-designed computer bench to wrap around the building’s curved wall, a Corian reception desk, and benches around the pillars in the Learning Resource Centre. In the student training beauty rooms, we stripped the rooms back to their shell, and then refitted them to the college specification. This included full redecoration, lighting, and custom curtain installation.

    Design: AXIS House
    Photography: Mikey Reed