The Orchard Hotel under construction on University Park campus

August 14, 2012, by Emma Thorne

Campus hotel takes shape

The new Orchard Hotel, currently under construction on University Park campus, continues to evolve and has recently seen the completion of one of its most striking architectural features — a dramatic, undulating timber canopy.

The £20 million, 202-bed eco-friendly hotel, which is due for completion in November this year, will serve the adjacent East Midlands Conference Centre and provide accommodation for visiting students, lecturers and parents as well as business travellers.

Accessed from Beeston Lane, the hotel has been designed by RHWL Architects, is being built by BAM Construction for the University and will be operated by DeVere Venues when it opens its doors.

The oversailing canopy, which was part of RHWL’s competition-winning design, highlights the hotel’s entrance providing solar shading and filtered light to the public front-of-house reception and foyer lounges within. The ripple of the structure reflects the contours of the hillside orchard landscape in which the building sits, whilst the use of timber responds to the natural setting of mature trees nearby. The two hotel bedroom wings sit comfortably either side of the entrance and canopy.

The recently completed canopy for the Orchard Hotel

Corrie Jones, Associate at RHWL Architects, said: “This will be a landmark hotel that reflects its beautiful parkland setting, right from the design and choice of materials through to the furnishings of each room. The site itself offered an opportunity to forge a strong link between the conference centre and the rest of the university, and this is something that has strongly driven our design.”

Mark Ferrie, BAM Construction’s project manager said: “The installation of the canopy marks the last key architectural element in the construction which is due for completion in November.”

The project’s commitment to the surrounding environment is further reflected in its high level of sustainability. The development is aiming for a BREEAM rating of Excellent, with sustainable features including a green roof system, photovoltaic panels, smart building management systems and energy efficient lighting, glazing and ventilation systems.

The roof was produced and installed by subcontractor Lilleheden.

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