Originally known for its strong industrial background, Newcastle has become a vibrant city with numerous and diverse cultural activities and many new buildings of architectural merit.   

One of these buildings is the City Campus development at Northumbria University. The concepts, designed with environmental sustainability in mind, have won several accolades for both the University and those involved in its development.  

Lead landscape architects, SLR global environmental solutions were sufficiently impressed with SureSet that they specified it to help fulfill a brief that required them to: provide an imaginative and contemporary landscape setting that is both flexible and adaptable to respond to the changing needs of the University and to promote its status as an international learning centre.

Within the main campus, a 4,033m² bespoke blend of 6mm Forest Green and 6mm Sterling Silver was laid for pedestrian and vehicular access (for delivery vehicles and car parking) and a further 10m² of 10mm Sterling Silver installed to 42 tree pits. SureSet was also used creatively to form part of a central feature depicting the left and right sides of the brain.  

SureSet was also laid on a new bridge crossing the central motorway, allowing students and local communities safe and easy access to the existing City Campus. What’s striking about the bridge design is the use of SureSet to create 'Northumbria University' within the surface.   

To achieve this, we prepared laser cut MDF stencils from the plans as templates and formed metal edging into position around the MDF to create the characters.  These were filled with 6mm Forest Green and transported to site where (the background colour) 6mm Sterling Silver was then inlaid.   

The third element of SureSet was as part of the landscape 'makeover' for Ellison Courtyard, an area within the original City Campus that links the existing buildings to the new footbridge.  Here we installed our bespoke mix of 6mm Sterling Silver and 6mm Forest Green and 10mm Sterling Silver to the tree pits.   

A spokesperson for the University said: “The new Ellison Courtyard provides a high quality oasis within the heart of the City Campus to be enjoyed by the whole University, community, visitors and others alike”.

For SLR, it was important that the materials they chose to work with not only met their environmental standards, but also the competing demands of sustainability and longevity. SLR Project manager, James Brewer, commented:  

"We were looking for a really hard wearing and bright aggregate finish and SureSet gave us this, and some really crisp edging. 

I am very proud with the result and students often comment on the unusual Northumbria lettering on the bridge".