Darlington College

Refurbishment Works

Darlington College is a state of the art learning and training centre, which includes additional University learning facilities on the campus, in partnership with Teesside University.

Harrow were approached by the college to carry out a substantial refurbishment scheme across the main Darlington campus, as Lead Consultant/Designer.  The project involved extension and remodelling works to form:

  • a new commercially operated restaurant – The Glasshouse
  • ‘state of the art’ hair and beauty training salons and client reception/waiting room – Elements
  • ‘lecturette’ facilities within the existing engineering department
Our brief was to provide new commercially focused facilities providing the highest level of training/learning, whilst being able to standalone as a means of generating additional income for the college through exposure to the public.

The Elements hair and beauty salons, and Glasshouse Restaurant were designed and fully equipped to professional standards, and are open to the public for the complete range of hair and beauty treatments. College students aged between 16 and 21 carry out the various treatments under the watchful eye of their tutors, whilst customers get a full salon experience at a considerably lower price than they would on the High Street.

Our ‘lecturette’ design was integrated within the engineering department to provide a classroom learning facility. The lecturette provides an open-sided, fully-equipped classroom into which up to 18 students undertaking practical work can step if their tutors need to teach or discuss a particular topic with the whole group. There is no need to disrupt lessons by having to move somewhere entirely different for this sort of learning, and also ensures that the students remain comfortable in their learning environment.

The lecturette, which was designed as a pilot project, has been so well received by both students and teachers alike that it is now being considered for adoption in other parts of the college.


“Showing as accurately as possible how our vocational training translates into the real world of work is part of the training we provide on all such courses, and the opportunities that our hair and beauty salon students now have in this respect will be invaluable when they move on and start their careers. As well as upgrading the salons’ facilities, the refurbishment programme has created just the right kind of atmosphere to both prepare our students for their eventual entry into the world of work and to keep customers coming back to see us.”

Trevor Hutcheon, Assistant Director of Estates, Darlington College