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Hardscape develops outdoor space for £22m University landmark

Hardscape has provided modern landscaping materials and techniques for vibrant Teeside University new-build, The Curve. Working in partnership with leading multi disciplinary architects Austin-Smith:Lord and contractors, BAM and Cleveland Land Services Ltd, the company helped to form an iconic central focus in the heart of Middlesbrough.

The £22m development represents the high aspirations of the university and provides an attractive environment for students, staff and the local community, with popular public walkway, Southfield Road, running through the centre of the campus. The dramatic golden curved building and giant plasma screen on the side of the Student Centre provide an enjoyable all year round outdoor space, ideal for events. Hardscape supplied the bespoke paving and associated landscape walling for the vast 10,000m2 area using high-tech in-house facilities to design the production details.

A raised sculptural lawn feature with a sitting edge, in a complex elliptical shape was constructed as a focal point for the area – an ambitious architectural design that was first mocked up in a 3D model to develop production and cutting details. Royal White granite was selected as the material for its workability, durability and as a light silver stone that creates a brighter space.

Southfield Road is adopted by Middlesbrough Council and they were particularly concerned with maintenance of the highway over its design life. A bespoke but very traditional bogan sett paving pattern in Magma blended granite was selected to create warmth and interest in the expansive paved areas. This created a striking, yet hardwearing design for the high volumes of pedestrians and vehicles, meeting the demands of both Teesside University and Middlesborough Council.
Contemporary finishes included 3 metre high granite totem poles, with the University logo etched onto them – this was achieved using the Hardscape ‘artscape’ manufacturing process that uses an abrasive sandblasting technique with high precision to engrave unique artwork and text.

Associate landscape architect at Austin-Smith:Lord, Chris Moor, said: “We were keen to deliver an exciting and ambitious design scheme working with wide ranging materials to create a stand out outdoor space. Hardscape’s creative approach – combined with their technical expertise and attention to detail – were key in helping us to bring our vision to life.”

Hardscape’s managing director Mathew Haslam said: “It was fantastic to be involved in the design and creation process of this prestigious educational development. It has been transformed into a truly beautiful and eye-catching space and a landmark for Middlesbrough. The resulting scheme speaks for itself and is another unique yet great example of our service and ambition.”

For more information, visit www.hardscape.co.uk

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