Architects are aiming for plain sailing as work continues converting an ancient maritime factory into a state of the art learning centre.
Niven Architects, of Darlington, are weaving the listed facade of an old sail-making works into a contemporary sixth form centre for Middlesbrough College.
The £6.5m scheme progresses development of the Middlehaven site, in Middlesbrough.
Two walls were listed for their heritage value and will be incorporated into a more contemporary design featuring a red cube.
Due to be completed by September 2012, it will provide a 2,000sq ft centre featuring 13 classrooms, changing facilities, a cafe and bistro, student common room and an artificial turf pitch.
Eleven of the classrooms will be housed on the first floor and feature interactive learning equipment
The new centre will be able to cater for the needs of 500 students and staff.
The building has been designed to allow community use of the facilities when the classrooms are not needed.
Director of Niven Architects, Siobhan McMahon, said: “We have kept the design very simple so it doesn’t try and compete with the main college campus next door. The red cube links it to the main college but it also stands alone rather than challenges it. It is a fusion of the area’s industrial past and its contemporary future.
“It will be a very ‘green’ building with passive ventilators and solar panels on the roof. As well as the sail-making building we found concrete crane bases from when the area served the docks and warehousing.”
Simon Crowe, fellow director of the practice in Coniscliffe Road, Darlington, added: “It is great to see work under way on site and that the college is still pressing ahead with its development proposals. There is already talk of a phase two in the form of an extension to this building.
“It is great to be part of such an innovative scheme as the college responds to a demand for sixth form places and we have already had some very positive feedback to our designs.”