Architectural award for Tremough
Tremough Campus, Penryn, has been selected as South West
Regional Winner in the Regeneration category of the Royal
Institution of Chartered Surveyors Awards 2005. Architect
Jonathan Adams, of Capita Percy Thomas in Cardiff, will receive
the award at a regional ceremony in Wells on Wednesday 22
June 2005. Tremough will now be considered for the national
RICS awards, including Building of the Year, which are announced
in October 2005.
The £50 million development at Tremough has added 17,000
square metres of space to the existing buildings on the campus.
Investment was through the Combined Universities in Cornwall
initiative, principally by the Objective One European Regional
Development Fund and the UK Government (South West Regional
Development Agency and Higher Education Funding Council for
England), with support from Cornwall County Council. The contractor
was Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd, which awarded 45% of the subcontracts
to local companies.
The Tremough Campus is believed to be unique in the UK, because
it is used and managed jointly by two independent institutions
of higher education: University College Falmouth and the University
of Exeter in Cornwall. This collaboration has determined the
shape of the new building, which was completed in October
2004 on time and on budget, after two years' construction
work. Areas such as teaching rooms, the library, computer
rooms and social spaces (bars, the refectory and the sports
centre) are shared and placed at the centre of the campus.
In a conventional university setting, the more specialised
teaching areas, such as design studios for University College
Falmouth and scientific laboratories for the University of
Exeter would be housed in separate buildings, but at Tremough
they adjoin and interlock, forming a single complex around
the piazza that is at the heart of the campus.
Indoors, form follows function. Falmouth's Design Centre
is a curving series of terraced open-plan studios which allow
students and staff to pick up and share ideas across a range
of design disciplines, from garden design to textile design
or contemporary crafts. Exeter's laboratories and offices,
which include the new premises of Camborne School of Mines,
are a more traditional linear arrangement of discrete rectangular
spaces that are easily adapted to the different needs of,
for example, geography, geology and biological sciences.
"For a design on this scale," said Jonathan
Adams, "you need to think of it as a village, not
as a building. Open spaces are as important as the closed
spaces (the rooms); people should be able to get from A to
B by more than one route; and those routes should have interest
and variety in them, not just straight lines." His
inspiration is the organic urban landscape that can be seen
in historic towns from Cornwall to Italy, with buildings,
courtyards, archways, twisting streets and a focus in the
main public square or piazza. This is where you arrive; this
is where you will bump into friends; and it is the space you
cross to move from teaching rooms to cafe.
Jonathan Adams has also given thought to the impact of the
construction on the local economy and environment. "If
we used local stone and slate for a building of this size,
we could monopolise the local suppliers and they would lose
the regular customers whom they need long after this project
is finished. The main walls are therefore made of 'stonecrete'
Cornish granite (some of it taken from the ground at
Tremough) embedded in cast concrete." He continued, "The concrete is rough-textured and tinted in earth colours,
so the walls will look as though they have grown organically
from the earth they stand on. They are capped with a fully
glazed top floor level, and I like to think of this as a metaphor
for the education that is carried out inside the building.
You start with rough-hewn materials in the lower walls and
rise to the roof line, where you see a much more polished,
shaped and sophisticated product."
Professor Alan Livingston, Chair of the CUC Steering Group
and Principal of University College Falmouth said: "Tremough
is the Hub of the Combined Universities in Cornwall initiative.
The RICS award is witness to the high standards and high aspirations
that the partner institutions of CUC, the architects and the
contractors are applying to the expansion of higher education
in Cornwall. It is particularly fitting that Tremough has
gained the Regeneration award. The purpose of CUC and certainly
the purpose of Objective One, which has provided much of the
investment in this major project is to bring new momentum
to the economy of Cornwall, by creating new graduate level
skills and jobs and by making higher education more accessible
to the people of Cornwall."
Professor Keith Atkinson, Chair of the CUC Executive Group
and Provost of the University of Exeter in Cornwall said: "CUC is a unique partnership and it is very apt that
the Tremough building, a shared facility in every respect,
should gain the RICS award. As the centre of a major regeneration
project based on Higher Education, the building also represents
a statement about sustainability. It is fitting that part
of the University of Exeter's research, and taught portfolio,
is concerned with Renewable Energy for which the building
itself is an excellent case study."
The RICS Awards scheme was set up in 1990 to reward projects
that have regard for the natural and built environment. Winners
must show both excellence in their category and a commitment
to value for money and sustainability. The awards recognise
organisations and projects worldwide, from the single individual
to multi-million-pound developments.
For further information contact Martin Horrox at University
College Falmouth on 01326 213756 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org,
or Stuart Franklin at University of Exeter on 01392 263146
or email: email@example.com.
The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles
of Scilly has invested in the Combined Universities in Cornwall
project through European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
For further information contact:
Martin Horrox, University College Falmouth, Woodlane, Falmouth
Tel: 01326 213756
Stuart Franklin, University of Exeter, The Queen's Drive,
Exeter, UK EX4 4QJ
Tel: 01392 263146
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439
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