Michael Hopkins and Partners

University of Nottingham, Jubilee Campus

Construction date:
Notingham University, UK
Predicted life of coating:
50 years

The University’s Jubilee Campus turns a former bicycle factory site into an academic park for 2,500 students, and introduces energy-saving construction in a balance of communal, functional and operational priorities.

The University of Nottingham is proud of its architectural heritage. When it acquired a six hectare industrial site it decided to develop a campus suitable for its Centennial Jubilee. Hopkins’ competition-winning design created a lake along the site. The principal buildings, three faculties, a learning resource centre and a central teaching building overlook the lake along a path leading to the University’s playing fields and original campus. There are also 750 student rooms in five halls.

Colonnades on the pathside buildings engage pedestrians and invite them to look into the gardens and atria between the finger-like wings. Ground floors accommodate functions like catering, shops and meeting; above are faculty rooms.

The unusual shapes of the free-standing circular learning resource centre and tierred lecture halls which appear to float in the atrium of the central teaching building, proclaim their importance. Halls of residence have more privacy; those for undergraduates adopt a traditional courtyard layout, while the postgraduate residence is crescent-shaped.

A low pressure drop ventilation system uses corridors and stair towers as air plenums, reducing the energy needed to circulate air. Under normal conditions specially designed chimneys create adequate wind effect; during hot weather photo­voltaic cells on the atrium roofs. generate supplementary power for extra cooling.

Such ideas attracted the largest ever Thermi Grant from the European Union, allowing a small premium above the stringent cost guidelines for academic buildings, and ensuring that the new campus is a worthy companion to the original one.

There was extensive use of galvanised steel throughout these buildings, as seen from the accompanying photographs.

Images © Simon Congdon

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