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ASI (The Air & Space Institute)

Lincoln College


Lincoln College required a flagship new building to house its new Air and Space Institute (ASI). A key requirement of the new college would be the need for it to be employer-led, and produce a highly skilled and productive local workforce. The college ran an open tender process with a panel interview to select an experienced architect with a track record of delivering high profile buildings in the education sector.

Stem approached the design process with a form follows function philosophy, responding to the stated needs of the end user. Although the functional requirements were the starting point for the design, they did not hinder the opportunity to also create a striking and iconic aesthetic.







The building’s unique function served as the primary source of inspiration for its external appearance. The inspiration for ASI’s aesthetic is drawn from historic and modern aircraft hangers and the shapes and forms of the aircraft themselves. These forms have been utilised to create the dynamic east elevation of the building, which echoes a series of tail fins lined up along an airport apron. On the opposite side the building, narrow ribbon windows are a direct reference to the window arrangements along the fuselage of commercial airliners.

At the north end of the building a spacious hanger space houses the fuselage of an Airbus A318, allowing students to get practical, hands on experience of working within the aviation industry. The wing of the airliner is carefully positioned to give the appearance of it penetrating the hangers large curtain walling, allowing glimpses into the internal workings of the building. Additionally, the building contains a variety of teaching spaces, workshops and state of the art flight simulators.


The ASI is a striking flagship building which will allow Lincoln College to offer top class courses for students seeking to enter the aviation sector. The distinctive form of the ASI has created an iconic new building for Newark. During construction, views of the site were kept open where possible to help create a transparent project and allow stakeholders to feel involved.

Client and community engagement was a key part of the designs early development given the important role that the building would play in the local economy. Feedback from Lincoln College and their students has been overwhelmingly positive, the new courses are oversubscribed and it’s fantastic for the team at Stem to witness both the staff and students thoroughly enjoying the facility.


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