Civil Engineering, Hard and Soft Landscaping

Teesside University's vision sought to unify its Middlesbrough campus by creating an inspiring and coherent cosmopolitan space for students and the public, forged by pedestrianising a section of the Southfield Road designated highway and introducing signature granite and steel hard landscaping elements within a well-lit, safe, environment.

CLS were appointed by Middlesbrough Council to work within the wider project of regenerating the campus by linking north and south sides to foster a more welcoming, pedestrian-friendly space.

Granite paving blocks were laid in the Bogen, 'European', design along with flag and cobble paving. Enhancing site unity is dramatic street furniture fabricated in 'rustic' Corten steel, bespoke to the project, incorporating three-, four- and six-metre benches, tree grills and entrance features. Imposing granite totems, engraved with the University logo, grace both entrances to the pedestrian area.

The tree avenue and pits employ a Strata Cell system. Roots are directed into the cells under the plastic pit, with trees strapped and ratcheted into the sphere. The system incorporates breathing pipes and caps at the surface to allow root ventilation, while allowing vehicle access over the cells under the paving.  

Project planning and organisation were key to success, given the challenges presented. The granite was imported from China by Hardscape on a 12 to 14 week lead time, while a gas main had to be diverted to allow the tree avenue to be planted. CLS worked closely with British Gas to safely and efficiently redirect the supply. 

CLS were required to maintain pedestrian access throughout the site at all times which was particularly high in term time. A phased approach was essential, along with site and public safety, and the accommodation of delivery vehicles to adjacent pubs, restaurants and the Students Union.