UON Contemporary Chinese Studies

The University of Nottingham

University Education

Project Scope:
Design & Build Monolithic Fountains

Services Provided:
Design concept, fountain engineering including chemical dosing, filtration and water top up, fountain effect and granite cladding

Contract Value (£):

Lewis and Hickey Architects

GF Tomlinson


The Jubilee Campus at The University of Nottingham is being developed into a comprehensive mix of cultural studies and professional developments.

The School of Contemporary Chinese Studies (SCCS) was established over five years ago and is dedicated to research degree programmes which incorporate the study of China.

The new low-carbon facility is located on the University’s 65-acre Jubilee Campus where Tills Innovations has designed and installed another water display for the Institute of Mental Health Building. The campus itself is an example of brownfield regeneration, and won a RIBA Journal Sustainability Award in 2001.

Jubilee Campus provided the perfect setting for referencing classical Chinese architecture and the auspicious association with water in Chinese culture meant a landscape with water was of great importance.

We have worked with the University on numerous other projects and wanted to offer something different to what they currently have around the grounds. We could see that a design reflecting both water and natural elements within Chinese culture would be perfect.


From the outset of the design process three key elements were going to be fundamental to the design – water, simple monolithic shapes, and it should be created in stone. The feature had to sit within the landscape yet provide a contemporary shape and focal point. A trapezium with a combination of geometric and random fountains that project from the surface, creating radial waves from the centre of each. The peripheral of the monolithic structure had water running down the vertical surface creating a rolling wave pattern.


The open campus meant this stunning fountain was to be enjoyed by both those studying and the general public that strolled past. The elements that meet the feng shui were incorporated and create a fantastic environment and welcoming entrance to the building.

As part of the design to fulfil the longevity of the fountain Tills Innovations Ltd built the filtration and chemical dosing system along with balancing tank.

With a dedicated written maintenance manual and our maintenance contracts we look after numerous water features throughout the University of Nottingham.

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