Northumbria University Student Union Building, Image, Architect, English Development, Location

Northumbria University Student Union : Building

Higher Education in Newcastle, northeast England, UK – design by Jefferson Sheard Architects

14 Jul 2011

Northumbria University Student Union Building

Design: Jefferson Sheard Architects

Address: 2 Sandyford Rd, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear NE1 8SB

Phone: 0191 227 4757

Northumbria University Student Union, Newcastle

Northumbria University Student Union


A dramatic arch clad with Luvata’s Nordic GreenTM copper – using long-strip installation techniques – is the new central focus to the 1960s Student Union Building at Northumbria University in Newcastle upon Tyne. It forms part of a reconfiguration of the building to improve both external and internal environments, as well as facilities, for students and the local community.

Jefferson Sheard Architects’ design for the new west façade extension signals and emphasises the building’s entrance and uses the full three-storey height, allowing as much natural light as possible into the internal spaces beyond through generous glazing. It also aims to enhance the contextual relationship between the building and the existing courtyard space whilst minimising additional building footprint.

Materials have been selected which provide good life-cycle costs and low maintenance requirement. An independent cost engineering review of roofing materials considered alternative roofing materials from initial and whole-life cost, as well as visual, characteristics. The pre-patinated copper, rather than aluminium with a copper-effect finish, was recommended as: “a relatively maintenance free finish with longevity which far exceeds that of aluminium.”

Luvata’s Nordic GreenTM and Nordic BlueTM factory-applied patinas have been developed with properties and colours based on the same brochantite mineralogy found in natural patinas all over the world. The copper is easily bent and formed, and there are no limitations on the length of pre-patinated copper sheet or strip because whole coils are treated on the production line, not just limited size sheets. This enables the long-strip installation technique – often with trays 10m or more in length – to be used with all Nordic GreenTM and Nordic BlueTM products.

These products also offer designers unparalleled design freedom and the ability to determine the type and intensity of green or blue patina for each project with choices of ‘Living’ surfaces. The factory process can be accurately controlled so that, as well as the solid green patina colour used on this project, other intensities of patina flecks can be created revealing some of the dark oxidised background material.

In addition to this important development with pre-patination, other Nordic Surfaces are available today including standard copper and Nordic BrownTM pre-oxidised copper with either light or dark brown oxidisation that otherwise takes time to develop in the environment. Copper alloys are also popular for cladding including Nordic Brass and Nordic RoyalTM an alloy of copper and aluminium with a long-lasting golden colour.

Northumbria University Student Union

For more information, visit:

Northumbria University Student Union Building images / information received 140711

Jefferson Sheard Architects

Northumbria University Building on e-architect:

Northumbria University Building
Architects: 3dreid
Northumbria University Newcastle
photo © Adrian Welch
Northumbria University Building

Location: Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, Northeast England, UK

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