Architectural practice Sheppard Robson has been appointed by Peel to carry out the base build and fit-out of a waterfront building for Salford University on the Media City UK site.
Work has begun on the project, which will be home to the university's Music, Media and Performance department.
Peel is edging towards completion of a pre-let deal to house the university's Faculty of Arts, Media and Social Sciences in a new campus which could approach 600,000 sq ft. The Sheppard Robson building is the first of the university spaces to be commissioned.
Danish architects 3XN's competition-winning design for the overall university element was dropped recently.
Peel's 200-acre scheme will contain 1m sq ft of offices, 532 apartments, a five-acre park, a new Metrolink tram station, car parking, hotels, retail and leisure. The first BBC staff from five relocating departments are due to arrive at the end of 2010.
No-one from Peel Holdings was immediately available for comment.