The William Vinten Building sits on a prominent site on Western Way, Bury St Edmunds, close to the main West Suffolk College campus. Built in 1964, the site was occupied by W Vinten Ltd, a company manufacturing specialist camera supports for the TV and film industry.
Over a phased development, West Suffolk College and Coulson Building Group has converted the Vinten Building into a facility for engineering, science and ICT for those students on Level 3 and Higher Education courses. In addition to this educational use, part of the building is to house a business and enterprise training facility for the provision of training courses to the local business community. The three-storey block will form Business and Enterprise Training Areas.
The existing façade received new cladding to give the building a modern look and to match the other west Suffolk college buildings around the campus. The main reception was retained but the existing stair was removed and a new lift and DDA toilet facility introduced into the space on each upper floor. The main staircase has been relocated to the front of the building. Additionally, a new fire-escape stair has been formed to the west end of the building, replacing the former non-compliant escape route to the rear. The first and second floor alterations largely consist of minor changes to circulation spaces related to the new lift and staircases.
The single storey east front part of the building now forms Student Learning Areas. A new entrance for students has been created in the east elevation. The large open plan office area to the south-east corner of the building and the front workshop area has been converted into a series of teaching rooms. New toilet facilities for students has been created in the existing kitchenette area.