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Newcastle Science Central, Newcastle, United Kingdom

Friday 05 Aug 2011

Green knowledge hub for Newcastle

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Award Entry

Science Central will be an internationally recognised place of knowledge and innovation focusing on sustainability 

Science Central is a fantastic opportunity to create a new knowledge hub for a range of teaching, research and business activities focusing on sustainability and low carbon technology. It will play a key role in ensuring Newcastle becomes a city of science, technology and innovation and will significantly regenerate part of the city centre.

The masterplan will also become an exemplar in demonstrating how cities can prepare for a zero carbon future. The site is one of the biggest vacant urban sites in the north of England and is a forgotten and disconnected part of the city. The masterplan reintegrates the site with the city by providing new and enhanced connections in order to create a place which is inclusive and inviting to all surrounding communities.

Make Architects worked closely with the project stakeholders to deliver a masterplan that focuses on the needs of people, and identify how future development can be used to positively enhance social interaction. Their approach has centred on creating places which facilitate the collaborative exchange of ideas and foster innovation in order to support and enhance a knowledge-based economy.

This brownfield site will be transformed into one of the greenest areas of the city. New routes connect existing parks which will become appealing places for recreation and learning. This visually unique landscape will be created through integrated elements such as tree-lined routes, rills for water collection and pools for water storage, along with green facades and roofs and generous areas for local food production.

The height, massing and scale of the buildings makes best use of passive design in order to reduce energy use. The buildings are set out to prioritise natural ventilation by keeping their depth below 15m. Science Central will deliver up to 175,000m2 of development over a 20 year period and has been designed to accommodate changing economic conditions. Outline planning approval has been granted and the first phase is currently underway.

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