University of Nottingham Teaching and Learning Hub

This BREEAM Excellent design provides state of the art flexible teaching and learning spaces, along with lecture theatres, seminar rooms, private study areas and a performing arts space.

Sustainability has been a major driver for the design, and the building makes extensive use of passive daylighting, natural ventilation and control of overheating through optimised façade and structure configurations. Windows are tall and narrow and set in deep reveals which provide effective shading from the east and west. Trees provide good shading to the south facing social learning spaces, allowing these to be visually well connected to outside.

The central atrium and lantern create a stack effect that passively ventilates and cools the surrounding teaching spaces via acoustically attenuated transfer vents. A displacement ventilation strategy has been used in the lecture theatre, which provides subtle conditioning via under seat supply outlets. In computer rooms and internal study spaces, where natural ventilation is either not sufficient or feasible, highly-efficient variable refrigerant flow cooling systems ensure a comfortable environment. Hot water is generated by point-of-use electric heaters throughout the building, which minimises unnecessary energy use.

Max Fordham have a long standing and successful relationship with the University of Nottingham. We have previously delivered phases 1 and 2 of the university’s high-technology centre for Biomolecular Sciences. The centre integrates four cancer research facilities: laboratory, studies unit, clinical oncology department and cancer formulation unit, including category II and III laboratories, radio isotope rooms, tissue culture rooms and chemistry laboratories.

We provided M&E design services to RIBA stage 4 (with a client monitoring role thereafter), as well as acoustics, sustainability and energy strategy advice.


Make Architects






University of Nottingham

Martina Ferrera / Make Architects Info
Two types of opening are present in seminar rooms on the upper floors. Large, manually opening windows give occupants control over the amount of air entering the space for cooling, whilst small opaque openings above each window are under automatic control to prevent stuffiness during cold weather.
Martine Hamilton Knight Info
Air is introduced to the Performing Arts Space via wall-mounted diffusers above the stage area, leaving the ceiling clear for equipment and the floor clear for performing.
Martine Hamilton Knight Info
Fresh air enters the lecture theatre via diffusers located beneath each seat, providing air changes and cooling in a steady, evenly distributed way throughout the entire space.
Martina Ferrera / Make Architects Info
Underfloor heating provides warmth to communal learning spaces throughout the building, ensuring a comfortable environment with minimal impact on the architecture.
Martine Hamilton Knight Info
The central atrium is integral to the natural ventilation design. Warm air rises through the space and exits the building via the rooflight. This natural buoyancy creates a gentle suction effect, pulling cool fresh air into the building via perimeter teaching rooms.
Martine Hamilton Knight Info
The rooflight introduces generous quantities of natural daylight into the atrium, reducing the need for artificial lighting.
Martine Hamilton Knight Info
Extensive shading from surrounding buildings and trees allows large amounts of the façade to be glazed without excessive solar gain causing overheating. High-performance glass with a low U-value and g-value minimises the amount of heat lost and gained through the glazing.