Trio of international shortlistings for Elm House Brighton

Aliva UK is celebrating after being shortlisted for three international awards in the prestigious 2023 FX Design Awards for a first-of-its kind terracotta facade at Brighton University’s School of Business and Law.

The renowned awards celebrate world-class design excellence, products, materials, and finishes, with over 25 expert judges to impress.

Aliva has been shortlisted for the best Public Sector Project, best product in the surfaces category and in the UK Project of the Year category for the stunning aesthetic of Elm House, which has pushed the convention for facade design customisation.

The bespoke 3D white terracotta tiled ceramic veil cladding takes its architectural inspiration from murmurations of starlings that take flight over the iconic Brighton Pier.

It was also custom-designed to reference the architect Hassell’s design intention, to visually relay the historic mathematical tiles of Brighton and the state of change that students experience whilst at university.

  • A custom ceramic veil frame wraps around the building from the second level to support 3,120sqm of the bespoke terracotta tiles that were manufactured and supplied by Aliva UK.
  • Six different types of white, handmade, geometric glazed tiles in matt, gloss and semi-gloss finishes were used to create the stunning aesthetic.
  • The building features 50,000 tiles in total made out of 100% clay, they provide both an organic and sustainable surface solution.

The new six-storey educational building forms the centrepiece of a major redevelopment project taking place across Brighton University’s Moulsecoomb campus, providing a stunning new front door to the campus.

James Ormerod, Managing Director of Aliva UK, said: “The trio of shortlistings represents  design industry recognition for our bespoke terracotta cladding that has created a visually breath-taking finish that also conveys a connection to the murmuration of starlings massing over the iconic Brighton Pier.”

Commissioned by global architects Hassell’s London studio, Aliva UK worked in partnership to develop the tailormade system, with a bespoke structure that could also satisfy the technical requirements demanded by the building.

Julian Gitsham, Principal and Education & Science Sector Leader at architects Hassell, said: “A trio of international shortlistings reflects a genuinely transformational design project and the result of a collaborative team effort. From concept to manufacture and delivery, Elm House represents our vision for a well-crafted, meaningful and environmentally responsive cladding.”

The FX Design Awards 2023 will be held at the Grosvenor Hotel, London, on 29th November 2023.