School of Architecture, Planning & Landscape

News Item

Newcastle University's Urban Sciences Building wins top planning award from the RTPI

The transformation of the former Scottish & Newcastle brewery site into a cutting-edge University department has won this year’s Royal Town Planning Institute North East Award for Planning Excellence.

The RTPI North East Awards for Planning Excellence were announced at their Awards Evening on Friday 26 October. The awards celebrate outstanding projects that demonstrate the power of planning in transforming the communities where we live. 

Led by a partnership between Newcastle City Council and Newcastle University, the Urban Sciences Building (USB) is a flagship building dedicated to interdisciplinary sustainability research and is home to the university’s School of Computing.

Situated on Newcastle Helix, once the site of a colliery and later the Scottish & Newcastle Brewery, the visually stunning building is transforming the post-industrial area into a thriving quarter for digitally enabled research, business and innovation.

Forming an entire infrastructure, the building and surrounding area are future-proofed with a Sustainable Drainage System which mitigates against floods. This complex aspect of the project was delivered through extensive partnership working, coordinated by the Planning Officer at the Council.

Proactive engagement with local residents, businesses and students demonstrated commitment to community engagement. Over 400 university students and staff were engaged via specialist workshops, site tours and student placements.

Chair of RTPI North East, Ian Cansfield said:

“Partnership working was key to the Urban Science Building project, demonstrating best practice in planning. Led by Newcastle Council’s planning officer, a multi-disciplinary team provided joined up responses to urban and landscape design, flood mitigation, and transport, to ensure quality design and place-making.

“With no other building like it in the country, the Urban Science Building is also at the heart of the digital revolution. The integrated labs are at the cutting edge of interdisciplinary research in urban design and technologies.”

Urban Sciences Building Exterior

published on: 29 October 2018