New Reception Building Adds Modern Direction for Dubai College

By March 7, 20182018

Dubai College

Godwin Austen Johnson (GAJ) has completed the design of the new reception building for Dubai College.

The reception building is the latest phase of development for the school and has been designed to act as a contemporary student gateway to the existing campus whilst providing a new visitor arrival experience, purpose built offices and centralised staff facilities.

“Dubai College has a leading reputation as a traditional school that delivers quality education however they also have a charm and quirkiness that we wanted to maintain. It’s fundamentally a British school but very firmly rooted here in the Middle East with its juxtaposition of British quadrangles (or Arabic courtyards) and low density clusters of single and double storey faculty blocks,” said Jason Burnside, partner at Godwin Austen Johnson.

“The location of the building was a key driver in the way that we designed it,” said Burnside. “It needed to occupy a very prominent location near to the plot boundary which means it is highly visible from the road and creates a public face for the school. In addition it has the added benefit of controlling pedestrian access and ensuring the safety and security of the students as they arrive and leave. The dramatic steel cantilever or ‘gateway’ floats over a water feature and glazed reception surrounded with shade trees, planting and coloured concrete seating cubes. At the end of the day it’s fantastic to see the students interacting with the space as they wait to be collected.”

Managing partner Brian Johnson first designed the school 40 years ago with his previous firm and GAJ has designed all of the new buildings since then as they continue to advise on the school’s expansion plans.

The next phase of work for GAJ will be the refurbishment of D-Block to provide a modern centre of teaching excellence with open plan learning hubs for collaborative learning as well as upgrading the existing classrooms to the latest standards for energy efficiency and technology. In addition to this, the firms MEP team have designed and completed a substantial centralised plant facility to increase operational efficiency and provide the essential infrastructure for future expansion.