As part of a series of landscape enhancement works at the University of Nottingham, the Theatre Gardens were created on the site of a former building. Landscape architecture practice, Munro + Whitten, were appointed to undertake the landscape design of the new gardens. A key part of the new space was the hard landscaping materials that needed to meet aesthetic and functional requirements and essential in achieving the desired result. Already familiar with Tobermore paving products from previous projects, the landscape architect found Tobermore’s vibrant Fusion block paving to be the ideal solution.
Zsofia Tarnai, Senior Landscape Architect at Munro + Whitten, explained more about the project: “The University’s vision was to create a retreat to relax in where students and staff could come to escape the hustle and bustle of the campus for intellectual pursuits and calm activities like chess or petanque, as well as providing an area for theatre groups to carry out small performances in an intimate outdoor environment.”
The landscape design concept was carefully thought out as Zsofia explained: “The garden adjacent to the new theatre offered great possibilities as it was a blank canvas following the recent demolition of older buildings to reveal a new space that deserved a new role.
“We redesigned the area in front of the theatre entrance to give it a stronger and more suitable space to meet before performances and to spill out at the interval. The main benefit, of course, was to give a new role to the space which is a key component of the campus centre.”
It was important that the gardens would complement the refurbished theatre building and it was evident that a hard landscaping product with a contemporary aesthetic was required in order to achieve this. Tobermore paving was the material of choice due to its bright colours and unique finishes available.
Zsofia commented: “We always strive to specify the highest quality of materials to suit a space and its role. The University of Nottingham already had areas of Tobermore paving on its Park Campus and we decided to continue with a Tobermore product given the quality of finish and manufacture.”
The Tobermore Midlands Sales team provided an expert advice service for Munro + Whitten in helping select the most appropriate paving solution. The landscape architect was particularly impressed with the modern granite aggregate finish of Fusion block paving and the eye-catching colour palette available. Zsofia noted: “Fusion had the textured finish and the variety of colours available to complement the theatre building and other components of the landscape.”
An amazing colour combination of Fusion in Silver, Rose, Mid Grey and Graphite was specified to create a soft yet striking laying pattern – meeting the contemporary style desired perfectly.
In addition to these visual advantages, Fusion also offered functional benefits as Zsofia outlined: “The wide range of block sizes made the design more flexible – it meant we could avoid cutting the blocks which not only pleased our paving contractor but kept the costs down for the client as well.
“The paved areas on site are primarily for pedestrian use but we needed a product that could withstand occasional vehicular overrun by maintenance vehicles and we were delighted that Fusion also ticked this box.”
Fusion was successfully installed along with beautiful soft landscaping features and seating areas to fulfil the landscape design in 2016.
Zsofia commented: “We were very proud of the end result. It gave the site a sense of new life and enjoyment.”
Munro + Whitten Architects concluded: “We commend Tobermore not only for the world class products provided for our design, but also for the team’s fantastic advice and guidance that made our job so much easier.”