As part of Newcastle’s ‘Science Central’ development, Newcastle University has opened its £59m Urban Sciences Building

Designed by architect Hawkins\Brown, the 12,500m2 space is both home to Newcastle University’s School of Computing and the focal point of its role in the £125m UK Collaboratorium for Research on Infrastructure and Cities.

Contractor Bowmer & Kirkland used building information modelling (BIM) to establish new criteria for the university’s management of residual risk in future construction projects.

By incorporating a wide range of at-scale infrastructure and micro-sensing networks, the Urban Sciences Building and its surroundings have become a laboratory.

A sustainable urban drainage system, energy storage test bed, DC power grid, individual circuit monitoring, and CO2 sensing are just some of the features that will feed in to the Urban Observatory programme run by the university. An experimental electric vehicle filling station will be added in the near future.

The Urban Sciences Building will be home to the School of Computing, where facade artwork and panels have been designed in a digital theme. Reflecting both the old and the new, wall panels resemble the punch card technology used in the early years of computing and the atrium glass elevation is shrouded in a graphic representation of data flows.

Inside the building a 300-seat lecture theatre, seminar rooms, cafe, studio, and 250-seat computer gathering are accompanied by a variety of meeting, study and social spaces.

The new Urban Sciences Building is the first of three around the Science Square area of the Science Central site. The university has already submitted a planning application for a £29m Learning and Teaching Centre in the square and earlier this week minister for digital, Matt Hancock, confirmed that the £30m National Innovation Centre for Data will also be built on the site.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here