The Ebbw Vale Learning Zone has completed and now provides all the post-16 vocational and academic learning in Blaenau Gwent under one roof.
The building lies at the heart of the regeneration of the former steelworks site, the largest regeneration project in Wales, and occupies a key location close to the existing town centre. It steps down from four storeys at the main square and is arranged in four wings, interwoven with courtyards. The roof is treated as the fifth elevation, housing outdoor learning with views to the valley beyond.
The building is part of the wider masterplan, known as the Works, in which BDP has also been commissioned to design a leisure centre, a 3-16 school, a special school, a 500 space multi-storey car park and an energy centre.
From the start, the ambition of Blaenau Gwent has been to make the project an exemplar for the area. As the largest regeneration project in Wales, it is important that the value of the project benefits the whole community. The Learning Zone provides a mixture of flexible teaching space incorporating vocational training facilities, such as hair and beauty salons, building and plumbing workshops, and catering.
BDP provided full interdisciplinary architectural, engineering and design services for the project. This project will be followed by the completion of the Ebbw Fawr Learning Community and the leisure centre which is expected in Summer 2013.