P&DG were instructed by NTU to collate, prepare, and support a planning application for a new Recreation and Environment Centre at its Brackenhurst Campus. Plans were prepared by Evans Vettori Architects.

Client: Nottingham Trent University

Size: 1,155 sq meters

LPA: Newark and Sherwood

Sectors: Education
Expertise: Heritage Planning, Project Management and Coordination, Stakeholder Engagement

The site sits directly in front of the Listed Brackenhurst Hall and presents an unashamedly contemporary design. A new ‘H’ shaped main reception building is provided to deliver a focus for accessing the campus to inform both students and visitors. The building incorporates an open foyer / exhibition and information space, a 240m2 public refectory serving locally (including on campus) produced food and drink, and a multifunctional 200 seat flat floor lecture theatre. Above the foyer is a roof garden which connects the upper levels of the complex.

The new building is central to the progression of the wider plans going forward and a fundamental platform from which to transform the site into an accessible ‘Countryfile’ campus, inviting and welcoming to the wider community. Further, the Environment Centre aims to celebrate and emphasise the place of Nottingham Trent University at the cutting edge of sustainable rural science and agriculture and to celebrate the legacy of rural science both locally and globally in food production.

Given the specific sensitivities of the site, and the wider importance of the campus within the local economy, our approach was to build a good working relationship with the planning authority in order to gain trust and a collaborative approach. A key element was our careful assessment of setting and impacts on the heritage assets balanced against the wider benefits of the proposal.

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