You may not have realised it – especially if you are new to the area - but The East Midlands is actually quite a hotbed of modern architectural design. Only last year (2016) a total of nine buildings in the East Midlands picked up top design awards. These included a beautiful curved architectural house built to keep in with its surroundings in the rural Peak District, a stunning indoor cycling arena and a university campus.
Here’s more detail on some of The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) regional design winners right here, as well as other stunning modern buildings in the area which you may well recognise:
1) The Contour House, Baslow, Derbyshire
Set in the heart of the beautiful Peak District National Park in Baslow, Derbyshire, the Contour House was built using stone and other traditional materials familiar to the area. The walls and roof blend seamlessly together while plenty of natural light spills into the family living areas. Its open aspect makes best use of the beautiful green views.
2) Derby Arena, Derby
Referred to as a ‘giant steamer basket’ thanks to the lengths of aluminium shingling, this velodrome doubles up as a concert venue and multi-sports arena as well as a world-class cycling track. It includes a 250m of track and independent seating for 3,500 individuals. Adding in the velodrome seating brings the crowd numbers up to 5000. It’s a clever design which looks great both inside and out.
3) GlaxoSmithKlein Carbon-Neutral Laboratory, Nottingham
Built for the University of Nottingham’s Sustainable Chemistry department, this spectacular-looking and eco-friendly building is a real head-turner. And no wonder. One side of the building’s roof and side is even covered in grass for natural insulation and to prove sympathetic to its environment.
4) Maggies Cancer Care Centre, Nottingham
This stunning building is where the work of Maggie’s Centre - which cares for cancer patients in the Mid Trent area - goes on in the grounds of City Hospital, Nottingham. Practically symmetrical in design, it’s oval in shape and rendered in ceramic tiles with a ‘calming’ green glaze. Balconies on the kitchen and sitting room allow visitors to take in the countryside views and scents. It’s light and airy and the curved shape gives it a very non-institutional feel.
5) Nottingham Trent University’s Clifton Campus
The Sixties architecture of Nottingham University Clifton Campus was given a modern makeover in the form of a new entrance which also provides additional lecturing areas. New social and study areas were incorporated, including a plaza in the shape of a triangle. The pavilion building, which measures 2,000m2, has a tall and wide glazed front and raised terrace.
6) Nottingham Contemporary Art Centre
With an external cladding of verdigris scalloped panels inspired by the nearby Lace Market, the 3000M2 Nottingham Contemporary contains four individual art galleries and 132 skylights to show off the exhibits in them. The north side is built into the cliff while large windows give outsiders an easy view of the inside.