SPACE Architects Attend Opening of Ron Dearing UTC's STEAM Studios

On September 29th, the newly completed STEAM Studios, designed by SPACE Architects, officially opened its doors in Hull.

The project entailed the transformation of the former Hull Central Fire Station into a state-of-the-art creative hub for the growing student population of Ron Dearing UTC. The building, located within the Georgian New Town Conservation Area, has been thoughtfully converted into a cutting-edge facility that includes a gallery and exhibition space, digital and photography studios, 2D and 3D studios, as well as an additional independent study centre for sixth-form students.

Invited guests were welcomed to tour the facility and experience a range of creative workshops, including animation, photography, ceramics, and fine art, all of which were led by students. The opening event also marked the first exhibition in the STEAM Studios gallery by the talented watercolour and mixed media landscape painting artist Kane Cunningham.

Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley commended the project, saying,"The building is amazing. Everyone involved has worked really hard to retain its history and integrity while transforming it into a high-tech creative facility, which is also a low-carbon building – quite a challenge!"

Lynn Garland-Collins, Creative Director at Ron Dearing UTC, added, "STEAM Studios is a really exciting space where students can flourish together to ignite their creativity, learn new skills, and realise their creative potential."

The facility aims to equip Ron Dearing UTC students with the necessary skills and experience to thrive in the creative industries and beyond. It will also be used to educate engineering students about opportunities in renewable energy, with the renewable energy aspects of the engineering curriculum now being taught in the Ørsted Digital Laboratory in STEAM Studios.

Councillor Linda Tock, Hull City Council's Portfolio Holder for Children's Services, said:"The council is delighted by the expansion of Ron Dearing UTC into the repurposed Central Fire Station. The transformation is quite incredible and is sure to inspire learners' creativity."

The project has been funded by Ørsted, a leading renewable energy company, as well as other Founding and Major UTC Partners. The Department for Education's (DfE) Post-16 Capacity Fund has also provided additional funding for the project. Thanks to this investment, the school's capacity has increased from 600 to 800 students.

By implementing innovative and adaptive designs, SPACE Architects were able to breathe new life into the once-vacant building and continue their work in Creative Re-use. The project was completed in August and was made possible thanks to the collaborative approach taken by SPACE Architects, Sewell Construction contractors, GGP Structural & Civil Engineers, Tuckers MEP, and project managers Hull Esteem Consortium LEP Ltd.

Director at SPACE Architects, Chris Holmes, who attended the event, said, "The team were thrilled to be part of the official opening of STEAM Studios. Witnessing the enthusiasm of attendees and students alike as they explored the new facility was great. It is wonderful that STEAM Studios has revitalised a building with such a rich history and camaraderie, creating an environment that fosters a culture of collaborative creativity. SPACE Architects would like to express our thanks to Ron Dearing UTC for their warm hospitality and the opportunity to be a part of such a transformative project."