News 24.04.2017

Green light given for The Learning and Teaching Centre at the University of Newcastle

Newcastle City Council has approved plans for the Sheppard Robson-designed Learning and Teaching Centre (LTC), a new cutting-edge conference and learning centre that forms part of the 24-acre Science Central development in Newcastle. Science Central will be a new urban quarter that pioneers innovation and sustainability, creating a mixed-use community for research and development, education, business and urban living.

As part of a multidisciplinary team, Gillespies has developed the landscapes and a significant new public realm around the proposed LTC building and Knowledge Square, one of two main spaces within Science Central. 

The proposed landscape designs respect the wider masterplan principles and seamlessly blends and integrates with adjacent plots to create a coherent campus environment, whilst also responding to challenging level changes and the radial curved form of LTC, through sweeping geometries and sculptural landforms. A grand set of seating terraces step down and link LTC with Knowledge Square, creating a focal space for gatherings and conversations, softened by timber seating, bands of colourful planting and rain gardens.

Integral to the landscape design is a discrete sustainable urban drainage system (SUDS), incorporating swales, attenuation basins, rain gardens and overland flood routes, which will slow down and hold back rainwater run-off from the site. The project will also act as a ‘test-bed’ for carbon capture research, pioneering within a ‘live’ landscape project the use of recycled materials with the soil medium to provide an enhanced carbon reservoir. This vitally important research will assist in understanding whether regeneration projects can actively assist in reducing Carbon dioxide in our atmosphere.

Design team:  | Sheppard Robson Architects | Gillespies | ARUP | Sandy Brown