Carnegie School of Sport
Sheppard Robson

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Architecture Higher Education

How Sheppard Robson used Mosa Tiles for their design of the Carnegie School of Sport in Leeds

While designing the Carnegie School of Sport in Leeds - one of the largest providers of sport in higher education within the UK - architects of Sheppard Robson created a contemporary look and feel, which includes a robust flooring finish from Mosa. In this groundbreaking project, large format floor tiles were used to provide a balanced scale to the space.



Unity in Architecture: Higher Education projects

With extensive experience in a wide range of higher education projects Simon Davies, architect at Sheppard Robson, took on the leading role in this special project. “In architecture for higher education, stakeholder engagement and assembling dynamic briefs for clients are very important. This makes developing effective design solutions possible,” Davies explains.

The new facility at the university’s Headingley Campus is home to students and academics from the Carnegie School of Sport. It provides a hub for elite athletes who use the university’s sports performance expertise. “One of the most interesting features is the sixty-meter-long elevated competitive indoor running track,” gives Simon an example. “Not to mention the environmental chamber which can mimic different altitudes and environments.”

The Carnegie School of Sport was previously divided among five buildings, but thanks to the new building, the school will be fully united for the first time ever. “Adjacencies have been considered carefully to support collaborative working practices within the school. For the two blocks adjacent to the indoor running track, a central atrium with double-height glazing was added, offering long-ranging views over outdoor athletics. This way, we visually linked indoor and outdoor.”




"In architecture for higher education, stakeholder engagement and assembling dynamic briefs for clients are very important."



The vision of Sheppard Robson

Being one of the most established architectural practices in the UK with an 80-year old history, Sheppard Robson has designed award-winning architecture, interior design and master planning projects all around the world.

“Over the years, our design approach has evolved,” says Davies, “but the underlying beliefs of Sheppard Robson are fundamentally unchanged. Our work continues to be socially and environmentally responsible, with the ambition to add value to all communities and clients we work with.”

Davies and his team value close collaboration. “We thrive by having a constructive dialogue with clients and end-users, as well as collaborating closely with other members of the project team throughout the design and delivery of a project.” A considerate selection process is also required. “Which materials are we going to use? For example, which type of tiles fit best with the rest of the design?”




The tile selection process

“For the flooring, we were looking for a finish that was contemporary, robust, formal and of high visual quality,” Davies explains. “We wanted to match the aspiration for the look and feel of the building.’’ The large-format tiles of Mosa’s Core Collection Solids perfectly met these requirements.

The Core Collection Solids tiles were incorporated in the ground floor atria and first-floor circulation spaces. “The atrium is the heart of the building, linking all different areas together,” Davies adds. “The spaces where we implemented the Core Collection Solids tiles are frequently used by students, academics, staff members, and visitors.”

When selecting the tiles the architects considered various aspects. “The material palette was selected to create a contemporary environment based on a limited number of well-detailed materials. The large format tiles were selected to provide a neutral background to the dynamic architectural form of the running track above, and at the same time accommodate a balanced scale to the space.”



"The large format tiles were selected to provide a neutral background to the dynamic architectural form of the running track above, and at the same time accommodate a balanced scale to the space."


Core Collection Solids floor tiles: the fitting choice

Mosa tiles seem to be the fitting choice for this higher education project. "Not only are Mosa tiles contemporary and robust, but they are also available in a wide range of colors and textures.”

Next to this, sustainability is key at Sheppard Robson. “Sustainability is at the forefront of our approach as a practice and selection of materials is an important aspect of this. If possible, we always specify Cradle to Cradle or Cradle to Grave materials for the principal elements,” Davies explains. “With the understanding that the building’s internal environment would be subject to evolution during its lifespan, Core Collection Solids floor tiles are Cradle To Cradle Certified® Gold, as is nearly 99% of Mosa’s product range.”

Sheppard Robson and Davies in particular look back proudly on the project. The creation of these new state-of-the-art facilities hopefully will help Leeds Beckett University continue to attract the best students and staff and contribute to the city’s economic and social development.


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Project details
Project: Carnegie School of Sport
Architect: Sheppard Robson
Location: Leeds (United Kingdom)
Completion: 2020
Mosa series: Core Collection Solids
More information

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