Public realm, landscaping and SuDS part of Newcastle University science development

Public realm, including a pocket park featuring soft landscaping, as well as a paved square and terrace and an integrated SuDS system will form part of a new education development in Newcastle.

CGI of the new Learning and Teaching Centre. Image Sheppard Robson
CGI of the new Learning and Teaching Centre. Image Sheppard Robson

Architect Sheppard Robson has secured planning permission for The Learning and Teaching Centre at the University of Newcastle, part of its Science Central development.

The building has been designed with a sweeping curve to visually connect two adjacent public spaces which sit within the nine-hectare Science Central masterplan, designed by Make Architects. The Science Central project aims to be a multi-use zone combining academic, business and residential on the site of the former Tyne Brewery.

The scheme features new public realm which will connect Science Square with a softer landscaped Knowledge Square. Terracing will step down from this pocket park, with the landscaping scheme wrapping around the building.

Integral to the landscape design is a discrete sustainable urban drainage system (SUDS), which slows down and holds back rainwater run-off from the site.

On the ground floor plan of the, an internal street runs between more formal spaces of an auditorium and the social, interactive spaces in what is called the "Learning Arc", which included an exhibition space and café for more informal working. The building has three further storeys of learning facilities, including office accommodation for the University’s Business School.

Rupert Goddard, partner at Sheppard Robson, said: "The weaving together of social spaces with flexible auditoria will open-up a diverse range of possibilities for modern ways of learning and teaching.

"We wanted our design to communicate the pivotal role this facility will have to the campus and wider University, with a strident design that resonates both with the campus context and the city’s history of scientific innovation."

Last month the practice won the Best New Public Space award in The 2017 London Planning Awards for Fitzroy Place. A collaboration between Sheppard Robson and Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands, the project was described by the judges as "a new area of high quality landscaped public space in London’s West End. It provides a haven for local residents, visitors and workers to sit, dwell and take time out from the bustling streets around. A real hidden gem."

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