Newcastle College Gateway Building Design Competition

Newcastle, UK
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client: Newcastle College
type: library, student services facility, a new drop off, administrative suite, office space, meeting rooms, coffee shop
area: site area 5,000 sqm
service: architecture

The building acts as a new visual gateway to the campus. Clearly visible from the city centre it performs 2 primary functions: firstly to act as an information hub where IT drop in, social interchange, and different learning styles combine to form a gateway to learning and secondly to house the college administration and leadership activities. The design clearly separates these two activities - but contains them within the same flexible framework which allows for constant change to take place within the building responding to fast changes and trends in learning and learning environments - "space that is constantly in the process of being made". The highly flexible and rational floor plates are pierced by a dramatic "light cascade" that cuts through the building from the southern facing roof to the northern facing entrance bringing sun and daylight dramatically to a north facing frontage and arrival space. The building envelope is an interactive zero energy media wall reflecting the knowledge, information and energy within the building.