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Make completes flexible teaching building for University of Nottingham

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The 6,200m² Teaching and Learning Building has been designed to blur boundaries between study, socialising and work

Able to accommodate up to 2,500 students, the building comprises a series of flexible spaces. These include a double-height learning hub with a mezzanine for quieter, informal learning, drop-in desks, shared tables, private study rooms, teaching rooms, a lecture hall with raked seating and small group discussion rooms. It also has a performing arts space and a number of social learning and breakout areas with views out across the campus.

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Connectivity was a focus of the design, with entrances located to pick up on key pedestrian routes across the campus, in order to maximise permeability and accessibility. Internally, a central light-filled atrium is the organising device of the building, drawing in high levels of daylight as well as helping to naturally ventilate the building. 

The building has an efficient thermal envelope with deep-set reveals and high thermal mass to balance heat loss and solar gain. The building’s upper level has been clad in an architectural terracotta with a base/plinth of architectural masonry. These materials continue inside the building, blurring the distinction between inside and outside, while concrete has been left exposed to give a simple, distinctive appearance, with cross-laminated timber adding a tactile warmth.

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Architect’s view

The Teaching and Learning Building is a welcoming, honest and open building designed in collaboration with a number of stakeholders including academics and students to meet the needs of the users. The exposed structure and natural materials inform the design and it is extremely flexible with column-free floorplates, generous breakout areas and a variety of spaces that can be easily reconfigured to allow students and teachers to define their own interactive environment.

David Patterson, lead architect, Make

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Lower ground floor plan

Project data

Contract commencement April 2015
August 2018
Gross internal floor area
Gross external floor area 7,064m²
Net size 6,200m²
Contract and procurement Design & Build, single-stage tender, Make novated to Kier
Construction cost £14.5 million
Cost per m2 
Client University of Nottingham
Structural engineer AKT II
Architect Make
MEP engineer Max Fordham
Contractor Kier
Project management Gleeds
Landscape consultant Make/University of Nottingham
Acoustic consultant Max Fordham
CDM coordinator William Saunders Partnership
Approved building inspector Nottingham City Council
CAD software used Revit
Annual CO2 emissions 14.1kg/m²
BREEAM rating Excellent

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