Hawkins\Brown has submitted plans for a new £58 million Urban Sciences Building at Newcastle University
The scheme, which has been drawn up with Buro Happold and bd Landscape Architects, includes laboratories, workshop spaces, exhibition and performance spaces, and a lecture theatre.
The building’s teaching and research spaces are organised around a central stair which acts as a social learning space.
The exterior will feature glazed cladding, digital printed fritted panels, and supergraphic artwork.
The project forms part of the university’s Make-masterplanned £250 million science park on the site of Elswick Colliery.
A planning application for the building is set to be submitted in the next few weeks. Work is due to start later this year and the scheme expected to complete in September 2017.
The architect’s view
‘The Urban Sciences Building has been designed to stand as a beacon of technical innovation from its position on the central axis of the new urban quarter. The designs set a benchmark for architectural quality as the masterplan develops, representing the University’s commitment to the city and region alike.
‘A ‘digital nature’ inspired interior embodies the contrast between the highly technical subject matter and diverse building population. The design organises formal teaching and research space around a central ‘living stair’, with social learning balconies and open workshops to increase collaboration and promote public and academic interest in the cutting edge research and teaching at Newcastle University. On the ground floor ‘showcase laboratories’, digital exhibition and performance spaces accompanying a cutting edge immersive decision theatre.
‘Frameless glazed cladding tightly wraps the building envelope and will feature digital printing and fritted panels to mitigate solar gain, whilst maximising light transfer. Supergraphic artwork will cut across the principal façade to create a unique identity for the building. The University has recently launched an ideas competition to develop the building’s public face and areas for interaction.’