Landscape and architecture work in harmony to create a new touchstone in sustainability
Earning the moniker of the UK’s ‘Greenest Building’, the Enterprise Centre at the University of East Anglia has become a standard bearer for sustainability in the UK.
Designed by Architype, the building appears as a pavilion within a wider parkland setting. Sensitive planning minimised the impact on nearby Earlham Hall, while a low carbon approach to building kicked off the commitment to sustainable principles.
At the heart of the site lies the Flint Garden – a dynamic space which celebrates rainfall via a series of clean-edged flint beds echoing the form of the building. During periods of dry weather the flints provide a textured frame for the architecture, but when the heavens open, they sparkle and bubble with rainfall, before the water drains away into a bed of Norfolk Reeds.
As the campus continues to grow, the landscape has been designed to unroll as a series of interconnected courtyards. Enclosed by buildings and terraced to accommodate changing levels, they will form a series of collegiate courts, lawned and planted with specimen trees. It’s a simple, spare approach that sits well with the architecture.
The project also established the UEA’s physic garden, designed to grow and expand alongside the campus. This extraordinary space will allow students, researchers and the general public to come together to explore the roles of plants in wellbeing, art, history and the sciences.
‘Sustainability is a word that’s often used by the industry, but our past projects show how deeply rooted it is in our practice.’