Lifestyle Academy – Newcastle College that located in Newcastle, United Kingdom, was designed by RMJM. The brief for the Lifestyle Academy was to create a unique landmark building to bring together the schools of beauty, sport and tourism to create a world-class educational facility. With a budget of £16 million, this is the only college facility of its kind in the UK, providing a centre of excellence where students can immerse themselves in their vocation thanks to state-of-theart, real-life working environments.
The building was completed in autumn 2006. RMJM’s design reacts to the highly complex brief with a diverse range of activities and space types from classroom based teaching spaces through to highly specialist, heavily serviced areas such as bistro, bar, restaurant, spa, gym and hair and beauty salons.
Generating a public interface and promoting the involvement of the wider community by its accessible public facilities and high profile location adjacent to main arterial routes into the city centre, the Academy’s position creates a clear campus gateway and single front door arrival point. From there students and the public are distributed separately by a clear and legible circulation strategy. Through this transparency of design the Academy is not only efficient but easy to comprehend and enjoyable to navigate and use.
The interface with the public within the ‘real working environments’ dictates an expectation of quality of finish and environment. This has led to a sophisticated interior design and palette of materials not normally associated with vocational education teaching facilities. This level of sophistication was recognised in 2008 when the academy won a RIBA award.