Lyth Building Nottingham Trent University, Southwell, English Architecture Development Images

Lyth Building Nottingham Trent University

29 April 2022

The Lyth Building, Southwell – Nottingham Trent University, England, UK

Thursday 28th of April 2022 – five projects were selected by the expert jury, who visited all of the shortlisted projects.

Design: Evans Vettori Architects

Address: Brackenhurst Ln, Southwell NG25 0QFy, England, United Kingdom

The Lyth Building Southwell - Nottingham Trent University

Photos © Martine Hamilton Knight

The Lyth Building, Brackenhurst Campus

Jury Report

Hosting teaching, research and office accommodation for Nottingham Trent University’s (NTU) school of animal, rural and environmental sciences, the new Lyth Building adopts a relaxed ‘H’ plan form. Arriving on the north side, you are received by the main entrance and gateway to a south-facing courtyard sheltering between two wings.

The Lyth Building Brackenhurst Campus

On the west are the main flexible lecture theatre and refectory, while on the quieter eastern flank are teaching and research lab spaces over ground floor offices. The arrangement of rooms in the plan is logical, but what raises this project to architectural excellence are a series of additional design moves that lock the building to context, and develop a unique identity for both building and campus based on a natural approach to sustainability through passive design.

The Lyth Building Southwell - Nottingham Trent University Brackenhurst Campus

Firstly, both wings align themselves with the orientation of their listed neighbours, thus opening the angle of the courtyard between to catch more sun across the day. The wings are also slipped in relation to each other to allow more afternoon and evening sun into the court.

Secondly, sheltered circulation is provided by open cloistered galleries, saving embodied carbon and energy in use, which is entirely appropriate to a centre for rural research. These galleries also shade south and west flanks, while a boldly undulating skyline fills the interiors with north light, simultaneously allowing interiors to vent naturally. Crystalline roof forms give all the main teaching and social rooms scale and spatial interest, and better connection to daily and seasonal patterns.

The Lyth Building Southwell Brackenhurst Campus

Finally, the Lyth Building fully expresses its timber structure, which is an inventive mix of glulam columns and both vertical and inclined diagrids of glulam. CLT is used for upper floors and envelope and the external colonnades are simple bold timber frames. The external walls are clad in either golden brick to sit calmly alongside Brackenhurst Hall, with places where zinc pours down off the roof and others where a more sheltered location allows timber weather boarding.

The Lyth sits elegantly into its context of listed buildings and designed landscapes, while giving a centre and focus to the burgeoning campus of NTU. It has raised the bar for future development and the jury are delighted to give this project an RIBA regional award.

The Lyth Building Southwell Brackenhurst Campus England

Lyth Building Nottingham Trent University – Building Information

RIBA region: East Midlands
Architect practice: Evans Vettori Architects
Date of completion: Dec 2019
Date of occupation: Jan 2020
Client company name: Nottingham Trent University
Project city/town: Southwell, Nottingham

Contract value: Confidential
Gross internal area: 2,155.00 m²
Net internal area: 2,000.00 m²
Cost per m²: Confidential
Contractor company name: Clegg Construction


Structural Engineers: Curtins
Quantity Surveyor / Cost Consultant: F+G
Landscape Architects: Urban Wilderness
Acoustic Engineers: ADT
Environmental / M&E Engineers: CPW
Project Management: F+G


• RIBA Regional Award

2022 RIBA East Midlands Award Winners

2022 RIBA East Midlands Award Winners

Lyth Building Nottingham Trent University, Southwell – 2022 RIBA East Midlands Award Winners images / information from the Royal Institute of British Architects

Location: Brackenhurst Lane, Southwell, Nottinghamshire, NG25 0QF, England, UK

Phone: 0115 941 8418

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