Nottingham in pictures…

Last night I was at Nottingham Trent University again (I seem to have been there more in the last few months than I was in the final year of my Degree!) – this was another exhibition.


As part of the 170th year celebration (which I blogged about before here) last night was a photography exhibition – by Martine Hamilton-Knight and the RIBA. The focus was on Sir Michael Hopkins work.

Marine has been photographing the architecture of this particular practice for the last 20 years. And there was a romp through the last two decades. The Inland Revenue, The University Jubilee Campus and latterly the Nottingham Trent University Newton / Arkwright extension all feature. There are some magical photographs and iconic views.

You probably know I have keen interest in photography – I aspire to this level though! Martine spoke at the event and mentioned the importance of light and good architecture on her work. Some of this architecture is fantastic – and looking at the body of work on show you realise that we do have some truly inspirational buildings in the City. They have been portrayed well.

There’s always that question you get asked- if you could do anything other than your current job what would you do? And I would always answer – I’d be a photographer. I have always been interested in the medium and I get to takes lots of pictures for my work. But thats not the level of art Martine and others achieve. That takes work – not just snapping!

It was an inspiring exhibition. I am inspired. I will get the camera out more.

Deja Vu part 2!

I blogged last year about my return to Nottingham Trent University to have a look around the Arkwright and Newton buildings – they were reaching the final stage of their refurbishment.

The newly created space at NTU

This week I went to one of the official opening evenings.

The £92m scheme is now complete – and it looks amazing. Hopkins Architects have done a great job in retaining the essence of two architecturally important buildings whilst connecting them with a modern piece of architecture. This really is the centrepiece of the University and the facilities are second to none. This is both in terms of teaching space, but also the newly created Nottingham Conference Centre.

It was interesting to hear some of the historical context of the buildings – D H Lawrence studied at the University College Nottingham (as Arkwright was then known). My old lecturer Paul Collins went dewey eyed when he remembered the old urinals – and the fact that David Herbert had once peed in the very same place. I wasn’t sure where it was headed, but he held it together I think – just. I think the Collins facial hair may have permeated his brain. Or he was being sponsored by Flomax

I was also amused about some of the opposition when the scheme was put before the statutory consultees. One organisation were concerned about the loss of the rows of lockers in Newton building. I miss them too – I used to lean up against them …

But the real story (apart from the quality of the space) was the green roof – 30,000 sq ft of it. This has helped the University achieve the no.1 spot in the Green League of Universities in England and Wales.

It is a great regeneration project – which deserves all the accolades it will surely get. It’s a great advert for Nottingham – on the world stage.