Original features

December 11, 2008

University Campus Suffolk, a unique collaboration between the universities of East Anglia and Essex, first welcomed students in August 2007. It recently opened a dedicated teaching building, designed by architects RMJM, on Neptune Quay as part of Ipswich's expanding Education Quarter.

Surrounded by a large public space, the Waterfront Building is a state-of-the-art facility with two lecture theatres, 34 teaching rooms, a sixth-floor boardroom with spectacular views over the marina and a dramatic exhibition space with a ceiling the height of the entire structure. With its unusual curved shape and multicoloured windows, it already dominates the skyline.

Far more distinctive, however, is the sloping sedum roof, sometimes known as a "green" or "living" roof. This has a range of environmentally friendly effects - reducing noise, atmospheric dust and run-off from potentially damaging storm water. It also allows the roof to support a range of plants and wildlife while reducing the carbon emissions of the building.

This eye-catching feature helped the project achieve an excellent BREEAM rating, which is the world's most widely used environmental assessment standard.

Send suggestions for this architectural series to: matthew.reisz@tsleducation.com.

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