Next Project

Langstone Sustainability Centre

Part 2 Project 2014
Stephen Jolly
University of Portsmouth, UK
As part of a proposal to develop the Island city of Portsmouth, on England's South coast to be self sufficient in terms of energy, food and water, the Langstone Sustainability Centre was conceived as an immersive learning environment for people of all ages, focussing on environmental sustainability.

An overall strategy for the development of the city was thoroughly researched and explored by a team of 12 students, with a key aim being to protect the low lying city from the ever increasing threat of flooding in the face of rising sea levels. Issues relating to quality of life, transport, employment, culture, heritage and sustainability were also explored in great detail to create a well rounded and highly ambitious proposal.

My written thesis explored the development of collaboration between Architects and Engineers within the construction industry, issues within this relationship and potential future developments. This interest led me to develop part of the coastal defence system, which emerged from group research, with assistance from a Civil engineer specialising in this field.

The Langstone Sustainability Centre uses the resulting tidal barrage, protecting Langstone harbour from storm surge flooding, as a ‘symbol of change’, showing the importance of leading more sustainable lifestyles. An associated educational building stretches along the water frontage, divided into four blocks which separate functions internally. Public exhibitions link to teaching spaces for evening classes and school visits, while laboratories focussed on harbour monitoring and management link to the University of Portsmouth marine biology department. The building looks to inspire a greater engagement with the ideas of sustainability from the public, while geographically it links closely with a proposed floating ‘eco town’ development and heavy sustainability driven infrastructure.

The design reflects its purpose, using latest technologies and materials to eliminate carbon carbon emissions. A polycarbonate skin controls internal light levels, while windows are inserted to highlight carefully selected views to the surrounding landscape. Externally, the facade reflects elements of its surrounding, natural landscape with varying levels of clarity, helping to soften the block form.

Stephen Jolly


• Page Hits: 2163         • Entry Date: 25 September 2014         • Last Update: 25 September 2014