The landmark Innovation Incubator is a vibrant and green urban development that has been designed to host a thriving community of environmentally-aware entrepreneurs, researchers and investors as part of the university’s growing partnership with business and the private sector.
Broadway Malyan has completed the second of two transformational projects as part of an ongoing campus renewal programme at the University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC).
UNNC was the first Sino-foreign university to launch in China when it first opened its doors in 2004 and in 2015 Broadway Malyan was commissioned to help develop a strategic 2020 vision to develop the campus and help evolve its facilities and resolve issues of utilisation and quality within its existing buildings.
The new masterplan created the opportunity to develop two new spaces that met the modern needs of the university and the changing expectations of 21st century learners – a new main library that was completed in 2020 and the Innovation Incubator.
The new Innovation Incubator fulfils two key functions for UNNC in that it not only provides a new face for the campus but also provides a valuable learning and collaboration asset through strengthening ties with the business community.
Located along the south-western edge of the campus, the new building creates a dignified but grand entrance to the campus that not only creates an important landmark with its simple elegant design, which follows the curve of the campus edge, but also responds to the natural urban context of the site.
The building presents a contrast to the existing facilities on the campus but also pays them respect in terms of scale, massing and proportion and material continuity. The use of concrete – but digitally sculpted – demonstrates how the building is at the leading edge of technology for its time.
Internally the design is focused on flexibility and collaborative space and includes high specification spaces dedicated to research and technology with traditional learning and business environments as well as live/work spaces and a range of complimentary uses such as restaurant, café, bar, gym, roof garden and social areas.
Broadway Malyan’s education lead Harry Hoodless said: “The truly iconic Incubator building has also been designed to strengthen the UNNC brand identity as it exemplifies UNNC’s forward-thinking approach to exceptional business education. Its form focuses on the future, namely innovation in leadership, pedagogy and digital environments and while being flexible and adaptable for future generations.”