Creative Centre, York St John's University |
SIP Cladding Project

About the project

ARCHITECT: Tate & Co Architects

MAIN CONTRACTOR: Kier | Contractors Interserve Construction


System Products:

172mm SIP Wall Metal Angle Brackets

The panels are typically 1220mm wide and can be as long as 7.5 metres in length to suit each individual project.


TF200 is a breather membrane product offered by the company Glidevale Protect. It is a high-performance membrane meant for safeguarding external walls including roof while construction is happening.

Educational Structure – tbc + *2020

The costs provided are totally indicative and should be used informatively and not part of any detailed budgeting process. How long is a piece of string comes to mind!!!

We do hope however that this helps to provide a picture of what can be achieved with our structures within different budget ranges.

Tate & Co | The Creative Centre at York St John University represents an evolutionary step in educational architecture, mirroring the institution’s commitment to fostering innovation, creativity, and community engagement.

By integrating cutting-edge sustainable technologies and materials, the centre not only minimizes its environmental impact but also serves as an inspiring example of how modern design can contribute to the well-being of both the planet and its inhabitants.

The facility’s versatile spaces encourage interdisciplinary collaboration, enabling students and faculty to explore new frontiers in arts and education. This architectural gem not only enhances the university’s landscape but also strengthens its ties with the local community, inviting public participation in a range of cultural and educational events.

As a symbol of York St John University’s forward-thinking ethos, the Creative Centre is poised to shape the future of creative education, making it a cornerstone of both the university and the wider society.

Three main concepts formed the foundation of the design approach. First, it is a genuinely sustainable building, both in operational and embodied carbon terms, with a substantial timber frame and simple climate control. Second, the main atrium space unites all the building elements together, reflecting the latest thinking in higher education to create ‘third spaces’ for cross-disciplinary collaboration.

Finally, the Centre makes the most of its proximity to York Minster connecting the University to the heritage of the surrounding city. Throughout the atrium, recital hall and critical listening room, views to the Minster are carefully framed, reinforcing this picturesque view across the stunning historic site.

Low embodied carbon materials, such as glulam and CLT and SIPS were used for the construction of the Centre, as part of a ‘fabric-first’ approach using Passivhaus principles to achieve a BREEAM Excellent rating.

Working alongside environmental design consultant Atelier Ten, the project’s eco credentials were achieved by using triple-glazing, making the building air tight, providing simple operation systems – such as openable windows – and a mixed mode ventilation system with both mechanical and natural ventilation in teaching rooms.

If you are considering a SIP system for your next project we’re here to help.

Previous slide
Next slide

Image credits | Tate & Co Architects, Kier Group, BWS and SIP Build UK

“What we set out to achieve was a striking and sustainable building to inspire learning at the heart of our Lord Mayor’s Walk campus, and I would like to thank Tate+Co and their team for delivering just that.”

The building is extremely functional and flexible, for example the 2,000m2 of teaching space are column-free internally with modular servicing to allow easy re-configuration in the future should the university’s requirements change. The 180 capacity auditorium was designed with SSV Theatre Consultants to facilitate teaching as well as performances, with a level access technical level. And the building connects to the natural environment through its use of natural materials and integration with a campus wide landscape masterplan.

"We used a 172mm SIP panel with a set of metal brackets to wrap the structural frame in an energy efficient air tight system that reduced the wall thickness and provided a fantastic medium for the rainscreen finishes to fix to."

All winning projects now go forward for consideration for RIBA National Awards. The shortlist for the 2023 Stirling Prize will be drawn from winners of National Awards.

Congratulations to Tate + Co on winning the 2023 RIBA Yorkshire Awards! Their Creative Centre for York St. John University has been awarded as the Building of the Year 2023. Congratulations goes also to our Partner WJ Group for being a part in this great project by suppling Burnblock® treated timber.

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is a global professional membership body driving excellence in architecture. They serve members and society to deliver better buildings and places, stronger communities and a sustainable environment. Inclusion, ethics, environmental awareness and collaboration are at the heart of everything they do.

International Press Recognition

"Our York St John University Creative Centre has been receiving quite a lot of attention in the international design press. We were included in the leading Italian architecture magazine Corriere Della Serra as one of the best projects from the UK in 2022."