King Edward VI College Stourbridge is one of the leading academic sixth form colleges in the country and has around 1,600 students.
Granted a grammar school charter in 1552, King Edward’s has flourished for more than 450 years, becoming a sixth form college in 1976.
Focused on providing excellent facilities for its students, the college identified a vacant site on its campus for a creative arts block to provide new dance, drama, ICT and graphics studios, a dining room, coffee shop and common room.
Phi Lighting was appointed by architects Bryant Priest Newman (BPN), the two companies having previously worked together on a number of successful college projects across the West Midlands.
BPN set out the requirement for a crisp, contemporary and cost-effective lighting design suitable for the busy college environment.
Requiring high lux levels in many areas, the design also needed to take account of the double-pitched roof above the upper floor studios and ICT rooms.
Working closely with BPN, Phi’s solution featured a range of high-performance fittings to meet the lighting requirements of each area.
In the coffee shop at the front of the building, Phi’s large, circular WHO-LED fittings were installed to provide feature lighting among the acoustic panels suspended from the high ceiling. Adding to the striking effect, linear Stria luminaires were suspended at different angles to align with the panels.
Elsewhere in the coffee shop, Phi’s Apollo spotlights were suspended above the serving counter while a row of high-efficacy CYL-LED spotlights were positioned to illuminate the timber back wall
Moving out of the coffee shop, the versatile Stria fitting was used in a series of different parallel and continuous designs to provide optimum direct/indirect light levels in the dining areas and complement further use of WHO-LED fittings.
Stria’s use continued in other areas of the building, including the ground floor drama studio where it was recessed in the high-tech acoustic ceiling, its unobtrusive presence facilitating the use of stage lighting when required.
Stria was also utilised to light the staircases where it was recessed to minimise damage and set vertically to add interest.
In the upper-floor IT room and dance and graphics studios, Stria was suspended in the high, pitched roof in striking continuous strips providing high lux levels while enhancing the uncluttered, minimalist design.
With the graphics department keen to utilise the upper floor corridor as a gallery space, Phi supplied its Kinetic spotlight which is fully flush-fitted but can be pulled out and titled in any direction – perfect for highlighting the students’ artwork on the facing wall.
Architect Phill Shepherd of BPN said: “We’ve always worked really well with Phi and this project was no exception. They supplied excellent fittings and everything turned out exactly as we wanted. The college is delighted with the result.”
The new building has been named after former Stourbridge resident Frank Foley, a British Secret Intelligence Service officer who helped thousands of Jewish families escape from Nazi Germany before the outbreak of the Second World War.