Lancing College forms a picturesque landmark at a key location on the south coast, straddling a prominent downland spur above the River Adur. It is in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty within the South Downs National Park boundary and in the curtilage of listed buildings that includes a Grade I Gothic revivalist Chapel.
The shape of the building is very much dictated by its setting and results in a contemporary form and look. It is the very antithesis of the existing Victorian buildings, which were designed to be prominent. However, it is entirely appropriate in this context, as it minimises the visual impact of the new development on the surrounding countryside and maintains the college’s principal buildings as the dominant visual feature in the landscape.
The building is partially sunk into the ground with the entrance at grade between two existing knapped flint buildings. Only a new sensitive contemporary glass entrance screen is visible from this side of the building. The new building sits behind this entrance and comprises two adjacent wings running north/south separated by a corridor which fits well with the geometry and grain of the campus, as each wing is a similar depth to the wings of the quadrangles.
The building is energy efficient due to the earth sheltering and orientation, with a glass wall to the south and TermoDeck for the heating and cooling strategy.