Dezeen Magazine

Visualisation of repurposed Wireworks building in Ambergate, England

University of Nottingham showcases 10 architecture student projects

Dezeen School Shows: a zero-waste apartment made up of modular units that residents can customise is included in Dezeen's latest school show by students at the University of Nottingham.

Also included is an architecture project that incorporates nesting techniques used in natural habitats and a housing complex designed to accommodate both humans and wildlife.

University of Nottingham

Institution: University of Nottingham
School: Department of Architecture and Built Environment
Courses: MArch Architecture (ARB/RIBA Part 2), L7 Apprenticeship, Bachelor of Architecture BArch (ARB/RIBA Part 1) and Architecture and Environmental Design MEng (ARB/RIBA Part 1 CIBSE)
Tutors: Tim Collett, Graeme Barker, David Short, Margaret Mulcahy and Alisdair Russell

School statement:

"The Department of Architecture and Built Environment at the University of Nottingham delivers the highest quality teaching and learning experience across a range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.

"Underpinned by world-leading research, it trains built environment professionals to design and deliver thriving, healthy and sustainable places for all.

"The department is ranked in the top 100 globally and fifth in the UK according to the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2024. University of Nottingham is consistently ranked within the top 10 for architecture in the UK in all major guides, including the Times Good University Guide and the Complete University Guide.

"Architecture BArch (ARB/RIBA Part 1) is a three-year degree built around thoughtfulness, creativity, individual choice and technical rigour. Students are encouraged to develop as individuals from year one, gaining core skills before working in a series of 10 different studio units in years two and three.

"The Architecture and Environmental Design MEng (ARB/RIBA Part 1 and CIBSE) combines engineering and architecture in a dual-accredited programme. It is an undergraduate four-year master's course that covers all of the Architecture BArch syllabus but with an additional year of academic study that is non-studio based and primarily environmental design focused.

"The quality of work produced by students on these courses is confirmed by their success in a number of national and international student competitions, including the RIBA President's Bronze Medal award programme (won once and highly commended four times) and the Serjeant prize (won once and runner-up four times).

"MArch Architecture (ARB/RIBA Part 2) enshrines critical thinking at the heart of good design. Both academic and vocational, this two-year course prepares students for practice, focusing on developing design excellence in response to sustainability and the housing crisis.

"The department is particularly known for its well-established sustainability credentials and for an emphasis on supporting student welfare. It provides a comprehensive range of wellbeing-focused services, free site visits, architectural field trips, modelmaking materials and facilities."

Visualisation of the architectural interventions in Lumsdale Valley

The Value of Decay: Accessing the Ruins of Lumsdale by Abbie Gale

"This proposal responds to 'the value of decay' in Lumsdale Valley, England. Inspired by research into continued ruination, this project explores how decay can be maintained and embraced by integrating new additions that rest, float or wrap around the existing environment.

"In accordance with Studio Two's principles, the scheme explores ways to respond sensitively and radically to the existing context using the three scales of landscape, building and detail.

"Raised walkways and walled gardens enhance site accessibility. New industry and a visitor's courtyard evoke the concept of 'ruins in the making'.

"These interventions aim to exhibit the site's rich heritage with minimal disruption to the existing picturesque condition."

Student: Abbie Gale
Course: MArch Architecture (ARB/RIBA Part 2)
Tutors: Nina Lundvall and James Payne
Email: abbielgale[at]

Architectural drawing of a modular residential apartment

Perpendicular Neighbours by Alice O'Brien

"Perpendicular Neighbours explores the pioneering potential of lightweight, renewable materials and construction methods. It prioritises innovative yet simple tectonics, enabling  the scheme to be responsive and repeatable.

"When combined with a sufficient wide-ranging education on materials, it investigates their capacity to create autonomous, zero-waste neighbourhoods in the city centre, where the residents become the architects.

"The study exploits the adaptive and demountable nature of modular design, creating balance between dwelling, work and creative play.

"Learning from the past mistakes of Leeds' social housing, this scheme utilises progressive and affordable solutions as well as collaborative design practices to embrace the contemporary shift in residential architecture."

Student: Alice O'Brien
Courses: Bachelor of Architecture BArch (ARB/RIBA Part 1) and Architecture and Environmental Design MEng (ARB/RIBA Part 1 CIBSE)

Visualisation of a repurposed production building

Ruin and Rebirth: A Prognostic Conservation Methodology by Cory Staton

"This project uses derelict production buildings as an avenue to explore a novel 'prognostic' approach to conservation.

"These abandoned relics highlight a recent past and provide an opportunity to reflect on new intervention strategies and contemporary challenges.

"The proposal utilises strategies for material decay that highlight the UK's progress towards net zero construction while appreciating semiotics and tectonic mechanisms that enhance the physicality of existing structures – this enables a diversification of typology.

"In line with our environmentally conscious society, Studio One encourages a thoughtful analysis of the existing context to inspire architectural ideas that are connected to the evolving history, character and ambience of a specific location."

Student: Cory Staton
Course: MArch Architecture (ARB/RIBA Part 2)
Tutors: Tim Collett and Nicola Ray
Email: corystaton9905[at]

Photograph of Monang Preschool showing the timer roof structure and yellow walls with black lettering

Monang Preschool by Design and Build Studio

"Monang Preschool is the eleventh creche designed by the undergraduate Design and Build Studio at the University of Nottingham.

"The preschool consists of classrooms, an office space, a kitchen and secure storage spaces to support the Early Childhood Development (ECD) of up to 30 children. The new building replaces a repurposed garage that had been in use since 2001.

"Started in 2009, the Design and Build Studio is unique among the RIBA-accredited schools of architecture.

"It works with South African Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) partners, Thusanang Trust and Education Africa, as well as industry partners Studio 8Fold and Grimshaw Global.

"In the studio, students fundraise, design, detail and construct a complete project in nine months."

Studio: Design and Build Studio
Courses: Bachelor of Architecture BArch (ARB/RIBA Part 1) and Architecture and Environmental Design MEng (ARB/RIBA Part 1 CIBSE)

Architectural scale model of ceramics reprocessing plant and education centre

Teapot Factory by Emma Archer

"This project transforms a dilapidated ceramics factory in Stoke-on-Trent, England, into a pioneering ceramics reprocessing plant and education centre.

"The proposal creates a circular narrative that connects the rich heritage of ceramic manufacturing in the past with the pressing issue of excessive waste in the present.

"Selective demolition allows the existing buildings to breathe and creates space for new outdoor manufacturing and educational activities.

"The private industry and public exhibition are woven together with steel bridges and stairs made from steel reclaimed from nearby collieries.

"This project proposes a strategy for economic regeneration by repurposing abandoned buildings for new industries while simultaneously reinforcing collective memory."

Student: Emma Archer
Course: MArch Architecture (ARB/RIBA Part 2)
Tutors: Kate Nicklin and Graham Mateer
Email: emmahazelarcher[at]

3D plan drawing of an intervention of the Brunel and Bristol Temple Meads Station in Bristol, England

An Ode to Error by George Cottrell

"An Ode to Error explores the dangers of redundancy as we approach technological singularity. This is achieved via a forensic study of the Brunel and the Bristol Temple Meads Station in Bristol, England.

"The project uncovers and celebrates the human errors in existing architecture and embraces a cycle that recognises the inevitably ongoing and beautiful nature of errors.

"2023 has seen the fastest development of artificial intelligence in history, sparking widespread anxiety about an uncertain future.

"Therefore,  An Ode to Error aims to capture the current zeitgeist, the prevailing spirit of our time, to be recalled in the future."

Student: George Cottrell
Courses: Bachelor of Architecture BArch (ARB/RIBA Part 1) and Architecture and Environmental Design MEng (ARB/RIBA Part 1 CIBSE)

Visualisation showing the interior of a cultural centre with people dancing

Underground Rhythms by Luke Yuelett

"This project explores the journey of a young man who finds himself obsessed with the underground culture of Bristol, England, and is drawn into its depths – his daring to explore is rewarded by something greater than he had set out to find.

"The project addresses the storytelling of musical culture by incorporating exhibition, sound creation, wayfinding and dance, relating each intervention in the Bristol landscape to a chapter in the narrative.

"The comprehension of nocturnal architecture and the nefarious nature of unregulated city spaces is revealed to the users of this set of buildings, rewarding their curiosity and courage to venture forth."

Student: Luke Yuelett
Course: Bachelor of Architecture BArch (ARB/RIBA Part 1)

Visualisation of sustainable homes in a green belt

Leodis by Myriah Curi

"Leeds City Council has committed to building 66,000 homes to address the housing crisis, but with limited land, the city is forced to look to the green belt.

"This has garnered backlash from green belt communities due to the disregard for wildlife.

"Leodis bridges this gap by creating a sustainable method of building on green belt land where non-human inhabitants are considered integral, weaving architecture and nature together to form a cohesive ecosystem.

"Buildings are not regarded as precious, transforming into a resource for wildlife. Over time, what once was an empty field becomes a forest rich with native foliage. "

Student: Myriah Curi
Courses: Bachelor of Architecture BArch (ARB/RIBA Part 1) and Architecture and Environmental Design MEng (ARB/RIBA Part 1 CIBSE)

Black and white architectural drawing of an urban infrastructure in Halifax, England

Structuring Fragmented Forms: Halifax Innovation Gateway by Rowan Crouch

"Based upon thesis research exploring themes of persistence and transformation around Halifax, England, this design proposal introduces a bold new piece of urban infrastructure to help catalyse urban growth back into the once industrial Hebble Valley.

"In line with Studio Four's ethos, this urban intervention has the strategic potential to impact the whole of Halifax, extending the public realm from the town centre into the heart of the valley.

"This project shows how such a highly territorial and permanent proposal can help structure previously fragmented forms and provide a base for a new programme to engage with."

Student: Rowan Crouch
Course: MArch Architecture (ARB/RIBA Part 2)
Tutors: Nick Haynes and Laura Hanks
Email: rowan.crouch1[at]

Visualisation of repurposed Wireworks building in Ambergate, England

The Artisan's Nest: Revitalising Ambergate Wireworks Warehouse into a Creative Hub by Michael Tanjaya

"This scheme aims to rejuvenate the derelict Wireworks in Ambergate, England, known for its historical significance.

"It will be transformed into a new artist hub that can give local communities an updated identity and reconnect them with nature.

"This project is driven by the idea that architecture should learn from nature. With the concept originating from nest research, the project questions and explores the concept of nesting from various perspectives.

"The structure reinforces sustainability by adapting nature's solutions in construction, inspired by and reflecting the historical and cultural qualities of the location."

Student: Michael Tanjaya
Courses: Bachelor of Architecture BArch (ARB/RIBA Part 1) and Architecture and Environmental Design MEng (ARB/RIBA Part 1 CIBSE)

Partnership content

This school show is a partnership between Dezeen and the University of Nottingham. Find out more about Dezeen partnership content here.