The University of Sunderland's CitySpace, which opens next week, was designed by architects FaulknerBrowns to act as the focal point for all non-academic aspects of campus life: sport, socialising and events.
A distinctive facade with coloured glazing units set into precast concrete panels ensures that the site stands out as a landmark on the city campus, while also providing the right combination of visibility and shading within.
It encloses a three-storey hub space at the heart of the building, which can be used for small-scale performances as well as providing places for staff, students and members of the wider community to meet and eat.
Within the hub, a climbing wall provides one of the links to a multi-purpose venue that opens on to a sports hall the size of two basketball courts. Bleacher seating can be pushed back into the walls to create space for larger events. On the top level, a 70-station fitness area overlooks the campus' central square.
Unusually for a sports and social centre, the building has already won the highest rating on the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method, for its environmental responsibility.
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