Hawkins\Brown wins planning for £58 million Urban Sciences building at Newcastle University\

Our proposed design for a new £58 million Urban Sciences Building for Newcastle University has won planning consent.

The 12,500sqm building will be the flagship development on the 24-acre Science Central site, the former home of Scottish & Newcastle Brewery in the centre of the city.

Housing the University’s world-class School of Computing Science, the building is conceived as a ‘Living Laboratory’ that will put the University at the forefront of urban innovation. Equipped with a public performance space and a decision theatre for the visualisation and interpretation of urban data, the building organises a variety of high quality teaching and research spaces around a central forum designed to welcome students, industry partners, staff and the public to the building to share ideas and work collaboratively.

Ewan Graham, Associate at Hawkins\Brown said:
“The University has committed to building a fantastic new teaching and research facility on Science Central. The University’s brief deliberately targeted themes of urban renewal, civic engagement and climate change; the Urban Sciences Building will challenge staff, students, visitors and members of the public to think more collaboratively about the urban condition within which they live, work and play.“

As a centre for urban sustainability research the building is designed to be highly sustainable itself. A rooftop wild-flower meadow is planned for the building, providing pleasant outdoor working space as well as promoting local biodiversity. The design prepares the building to connect to Science Central’s future district heating infrastructure and integrates with an increased sustainable urban drainage system for the wider masterplan.

A modular façade system has been proposed to reduce on-site waste. Patterning to the facades, designed in collaboration with Martyn Dade-Robertson an academic at Newcastle University, provides shading to prevent over-heating in summer months and create a unique public identity for the building.

Work is due to begin on the Urban Sciences Building late 2015 with a planned completion date of September 2017.

This is exciting news for Newcastle University, the city and the North East region as the design for the building is unique not only in Newcastle but the world. We’re proud of the confidence that this decision shows in the future of computing in Newcastle and the North East. We’re still pioneering, and looking forward to training the next generations of digital technologists in the heart of our city.

Professor John Fitzgerald, Director of Research in Computing Science at Newcastle University

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