NTU Architecture Subject Group

The Hide: Centre for Environmental Safeguarding

The Centre of Environmental Safeguarding is the latest addition to the University of East Anglia’s world-renowned research facilities. Strategically situated at the heart of the North Norfolk Coastline, ‘The Hide’ has been thoughtfully crafted to fuse the university’s expertise in life sciences with a commitment to preserve the natural beauty of the Cley Marsh Nature Reserve, adjacent Chalk Reef, the largest in the world & marine conservation zone, and the exceptional dark skies that are emblematic of the region’s status as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

A steady rise in tourism, which has seen an additional 5,000 visitors to the marsh nature reserve since the onset of the pandemic, has galvanized a community of independent business owners, walkers, photographers, and wildlife enthusiasts to rally around efforts to sustain this delicate environment.

This local initiative has since grown to encompass national organizations, including the RNLI, Marine Conservation Society, National Wildlife Trust, and the UEA. After extensive consultations, a management plan that integrates local expertise with the broader knowledge of large organizations was agreed upon. Subsequently, Locale Design recognized the critical importance of a central hub that would serve as an educational and inspirational beacon for safeguarding the coastline.

Callum Craske
Student name
Callum Craske
Architectural Technology
Sunrise from Observation Pod 01

Sunrise from Observation Pod 01

The Hide - Cley Marsh Nature Reserve

Our development proposal prioritizes the protection of the local environment. Global studies have demonstrated how the integration of community efforts with the research capabilities of large organizations such as the UEA can be tremendously beneficial in environmental conservation. Our proposal includes bio-laboratories, IT suites, and classrooms for the university to carry out and apply their research. Additionally, smaller classrooms have been designed for the MCS, NWT, and RNLI to apply their knowledge, alongside exhibition and presentation spaces that will provide opportunities to educate tourists and the local community on how they can contribute to environmental preservation. In summary, our design proposal is a well-considered, environmentally conscious response to this exceptional natural environment's unique needs and demands. The construction of this building, carried out through a management contracting approach, incorporates both local flint cladding, zinc cladding, and a wider range of wood wool and timber-based insulating and structural components. The choice of utilizing local flint cladding highlights a commitment to the regional architectural heritage and fosters a sense of connection to the local community. Sourcing materials locally minimises transportation emissions, contributing to the project’s sustainability goals.

Architectural Technology

The BSc (Hons) Architectural Technology course is a professionally-focused gateway to a career in to the architectural industry. Students explore how buildings are created, procured, constructed, and managed, and develop a practical and imaginative approach to design through a project-based learning experience.

As specialists in Architectural Technology, our graduates are the link between concept and reality; learning to identify, assess and challenge client and user requirements, translating ideas and possibilities into effective, practical, and sustainable building solutions.

Read more about the Architectural Technology course

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