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|Location:||Nottingham, United Kingdom|
|Client:||University of Nottingham|
|Awards:||Civic Trust Awards: Special Award for Sustainability;|
RIBA Regional Award;
RIBA Journal: Sustainability Award;
Energy Globe Award;
UK Solar Award;
British Construction Industry Award;
Nottingham Lord Mayor's Award.
Commissioned to mark the University of Nottingham’s Centennial Jubilee, this new city campus regenerates a 6 ha site previously occupied by Raleigh.
The museum wanted a relaxed, park-like setting for the new campus, which straddles the industrial and residential areas of the city. Our design arranges buildings around a newly created serpentine lake. The visual focus of the campus is the circular Learning Resource Centre, located on an island in the lake accessed by a short causeway. A central teaching facility, known as The Exchange, is opposite, flanked along the eastern shore by faculty buildings housing the Schools of Business, Computer Science, Education and Continuing Education. Courtyard-planned, undergraduate halls of residence occupy the south-east corner of the site. A crescent-shaped terrace of postgraduate halls overlooks an extension of the lake to the north. Tree planting and landscaped mounds screen the picturesque campus from suburban housing to the west.
A colonnade along the front of the buildings forms a pedestrian thoroughfare through the site. This route continues to link the new development to the University’s main campus and playing fields. The colonnade offers views out over the lake and gardens, and engages with restaurants, shops and atria meeting places at ground floor level, with faculty rooms above.
In response to the tight programme and budget, faculty buildings are simple, economical structures that use a repertoire of standard forms in different combinations. Throughout, the emphasis is on refinement and rationalisation of detail. The main three-storey buildings have in-situ concrete frames, with external walls clad in prefabricated, highly insulated cedar panels and timber-framed windows. Blocks are linked by full height, glazed atria, supported by laminated timber beams. Spiral staircases are housed in timber-clad towers topped with oast house-like cowls.
The energy-efficient design takes advantage of passive solar and wind energy for the heating, cooling and ventilation of the building, using corridors and stair towers as air plenums to reduce the energy needed to circulate air.