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Royal opening for Highlands and Islands College

The Princess Royal, in her capacity as Chancellor, officially opened the new £50m Inverness College UHI building designed by BDP on 17 November.

The new college building which opened to students and staff in August is on Highlands and Islands Enterprise's new campus at Beechwood in Inverness.

Alasdair Allan, Minister for Learning and Science said: 'The new Inverness College campus is an impressive, state of the art facility which will provide a range of exciting further and higher education courses for its students.'

The three storey 19,500 sqm building is arranged as a shallow ring of teaching accommodation wrapped around a learning concourse which accommodates the social activities of the college.

Interaction is encouraged between the departments in these multi-use internal spaces. Both students and staff can benefit from the co-location and increased collaboration provided by the new building and all user groups can assume a sense of ownership, not only in their individual departments, but in the college as a whole.

The building form responds to its context by taking maximum advantage of the views and features offered by the landscaped setting. The majority of teaching accommodation is arranged on the north face which benefits from the diffuse, natural north light.

The general massing of the building is broken down by a series of landmark learning pods whose distinctive forms house the lecture theatre, sports hall, performance and fitness spaces, and act as visual markers when viewed from nearby.

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