Barry Callebaut UK

New Chocolate Training Academy, Banbury

The Opportunity

Barry Callebaut, a specialist chocolatier required a hub to present their product range and innovations.

This required a New Chocolate Training Academy as their current facility was well utilised but unable to deal with market demand for artisan chocolatiering, customer expectations and performance criteria.

Austin were approached by Barry Callebaut to provide a Feasibility & Concept Study with a ±25% estimate to consider investment viability. This was followed by a Preliminary Design and Engineering Study with a ±10% estimate for corporate approval to implement the project.

The new Academy needed to provide a customer experience and demonstrate innovative chocolatiering and the following success criteria were identified:

  • Move from a single function to multifunctional Academy: preparation, teaching for 8 to 12 persons and customer visit/demonstration area for 30 persons with the potential to operate simultaneously.
  • Provide a dedicated customer laboratory for chocolatiers to experiment and demonstrate the art of chocolate making and its use.
  • Accommodate the increased demand for artisan bakers and chocolatiers.
  • Enhance the opportunity to encourage bakers and chefs to incorporate natural chocolate into their recipes through the use of live streaming and social media.
  • Innovative use of audio-visual systems to visualise and communicate new product development and live activity sessions.
  • Provide a stylish, attractive focal point with improved image for the whole site whilst optimising the existing footprint.
  • A building to reflect leadership in chocolate products development and augment the Banbury site.
  • Deliver the requirements within a prescribed limited budget on a prime cost reimbursable basis.

The Solution

Our team worked with Barry Callebaut to understand and develop the functionality, operations for efficient people and materials flows, user requirements and the envisaged customer experience.

Our in-house multidiscipline design team developed a “simple” cost effective solution of a single storey pavilion. This sits at one end of the existing car park, outside the main site allowing easy access for visitors and customers. The site was analysed using land and tree surveys and a traffic analysis with a car park utilisation study.

The siting allows the use of a wide variety of ingredients including nuts. This inspires the further development of chocolate products.

Efficient space planning created a multifunctional Academy that successfully supports the requirements for concurrently operating, teaching, preparation and demonstration activities.

The design incorporates Barry Callebaut’s established image and branding, using colour schemes logos with compelling design. The variety of branding available from the world’s largest chocolatiers has been utilised from the car park to the outside of the building into the customer spaces.

The Academy provides an enhanced profile for Barry Callebaut’s leadership of the UK market by providing flexible accommodation to suit a variety of customer focused development opportunities and innovative solutions.

  • architecture
  • mechanical
  • electrical
  • structural
  • public health
  • construction
  • management