back button

Digital Life Building

A bold vision

Providing state of the art teaching and collaborative learning facilities for Teesside University’s highly ranked school of computing, engineering and digital technologies.


Digital Life will function as a catalyst for physical and digital production and study, providing an industry-quality studio experience, attractive for students, business and visitors alike. Incorporating teaching labs, collaborative learning and fully adaptable production environments, it will feature a unique 750-person capacity auditorium that is completely reconfigurable, providing a central resource for both University and the wider Teesside community, ready to respond to future technologies and enhance the University’s standing more broadly.

This combination of agile flexibility with high quality, people-focused teaching and specialised studio spaces will offer a fully inclusive and accessible learning experience for all users. Future digital professionals will have access to advanced technologies and facilities unavailable elsewhere in a world-class contemporary setting.




Digital Life will link two distinct public spaces – Campus Heart and the new Knowledge Square – connected by an immersive `Digital Forest’; combining nature with technology and providing a clear route to the building entrance.

The building is wrapped in a distinctive perforated veil, broken by a series of dynamic cuts. The perforated patterning references the idea of ‘glitches’ in digital data, creating a textured and layered nuanced graphic pattern, in dialogue with the interior spaces and the facade lighting within, where nature and technology intersect. The veil itself serves a dual purpose, functioning as both solar shading device and as vibrant artwork for the public realm.



Our design intends to stimulate creativity, integrating user wellbeing with technology, providing welcoming spaces in which exciting work and live data can be displayed and celebrated; encouraging multiple disciplinary approaches such as games design, cyber security and digital animation to interact with each other.

Already recognised as a Top 25 global Animation school, as well as being host of ANIMEX, the international festival of Animation, VFX and Games, Digital Life is set to expand the university’s offer on a global stage, attract new investment and open avenues of excellence to Teesside.

Project details

Project name: Digital Life Building

Location: Teesside University, Middlesbrough.

Value: £20M – £50M

Clients: Teesside University

Status: Live

Completion date: 2025

Contractor, project manager, cost consultant, : Wates Construction

Structural/civil engineer: Billinghurst George & Partners

Services engineer: Desco

Landscape architects: One Environments

Fire engineer: WSP

Acoustic engineer: Stroma

BREEAM: Mainer

Principal designer: Orsa

If you want to know more about our work in Northern England, contact Katie Tonkinson

If you want to know more about our education and research work, contact Julia Roberts