Levitate - Nottingham One
Project - Nottingham One
Contractor - Willmott Dixon
Designer - Levitate
Client - Metropolitan Housing Trust
As part of Nottingham City Council's strategic vision for the city - initiated by local developer Southreef Developments, designed by Levitate, promoted by Nottingham Regeneration Ltd, built by Willmott Dixon, and occupied by the Metropolitan Housing Trust - this £40m mixed-use development is the product of a coherent and singular architectural response to the needs of the city and its individuals.
Consolidating two derelict sites, the 0.6-hectare block brings identity and form to a strategically positioned brownfield site situated between the Southside Regeneration Zone and the historic Lace Market Conservation Area.
In its principal role as a home to over 400 people the tenure-blind Nottingham One provides 100 affordable homes and 136 private units. It is founded on the principle that residents, tenants and the public share the benefit and enjoyment of the canalside setting.
To the north, the 160-metre façade fills an extensive gap in the streetscape. To the south, a more varied series of balconies, pavilions and terraces combine to create a peaceful waterside setting, marked on the skyline by a 14-storey tower. An existing service bridge has been opened to pedestrians as part of the public right of way across the site.
Early studies identified the efficiency of a single range of residential accommodation set above six double-height, dual-aspect commercial units. While meeting standards required by Metropolitan Housing Trust, further spatial efficiency was achieved by pulling lifts cores out of the plan into three freestanding pavilions which serve as gatehouses for all residents.
Angled to maintain light and views, the pavilions provide additional residential units and mediate the dramatic shifts in scale between the terraces, main building and tower, which rises above a distinctive cantilever, maintaining access to the district heating pipes.
Further efficiencies include post-tensioned concrete slabs throughout (eliminating down-stand beams and simplifying service runs) and a high-quality, modular, precast concrete façade to the street, fabricated locally by Trent Concrete.
The Nottingham District Energy Scheme, a low-carbon fuel source using energy recovered from waste, provides all of the building's heating and hot water, and the residential element of the scheme has a BREEAM rating of Very Good.
Nottingham One is an example of how high-density, urban housing can be provided in the city, hopefully inspiring other regional councils, housing associations, local developers and regeneration agencies to be equally ambitious.
The development won a RIBA East Midlands Award 2016 and shortlisted for the 2016 Building Awards.