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The Gateway Building
Current
  • All
  • Architecture
  • Interior design
  • Urban design
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A unique straw-bale structure

The Gateway Building

  • Location Nottingham, UK
  • Status Built
  • Service Architecture
  • Sector Education and research
  • Area 3,100m²/33,400ft²
  • Client The University of Nottingham

If you want to study plant and animal sciences, you go to the University of Nottingham’s Sutton Bonington Campus. More and more (and more) students did, so the university held a competition among architects to find a visionary design to would help it expand and reflect its status in one fell swoop.

Our winning, environmentally friendly design was informed by Sutton Bonington’s strong agricultural heritage and sustainability track record. In an architectural first, we used straw in an external curtain wall system, fitting it into timber frames. These were prefabricated in a local flying factory using straw from the university’s own farmland. From inside the main atrium, truth windows reveal the straw to passers-by.

The resulting structure encompasses labs, teaching spaces, offices, study areas and more. We’ve maximised this multi-purpose interior with an 80% efficient floorplate.

The Gateway Building is one of the largest single straw-bale building in the UK. Part of a 20-year masterplan for the campus, it sets a new standard for elegant, efficient design and local, sustainable production.

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We had an exacting brief in terms of cost and specification, and are delighted with the finished building, which has provided a state-of-the-art home for two schools.
Tim Brooksbank
Development director, University of Nottingham
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Straw-bale construction

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The Gateway Building is the UK's largest straw building.
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It takes straw bale construction one step further using straw within an external curtain wall system.
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Awards

  • RIBA Awards 2013 Shortlisted – East Midlands
  • Leaf Awards 2013 Commendation – Best Sustainable Development in Keeping With its Environment & Use of Technology
  • Property Awards 2012 Shortlisted – Sustainability Achievement Award
  • Perspective Awards 2012 Certificate of Excellence – Best International Architecture
  • LABC Building Excellence Awards East Midlands 2012 Winner – Best Technical Development
  • LABC Building Excellence Awards East Midlands 2012 Shortlisted – Best Technical Design
  • Building Awards 2012 Shortlisted – Project of the Year
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