UCLan chooses architect for £8.15m social spaces

The University of Central Lancashire has selected architecture practice, AHR, to design £8.15m of student social spaces to be delivered in addition to the students’ union.

AHR will head up a 13-strong design team which has been established to ensure input and ownership from the people who will use the spaces as well as those who will manage and run the facilities.

The design team is made up of representatives from UCLan including chief operating officer Michael Ahern and SU president, Sana Iqbal.

UCLan How the student social spaces could look

Part of UCLan’s £200m masterplan, the 10,000 sq ft new social spaces are expected to be completed by autumn 2017 and will further improve the campus experience for students, encouraging people to remain on campus for longer. The facility will be in addition to the students’ union.

Foster Building will be extended to include areas for break-out activities and informal spaces for social learning.

Design features will include glass roofs and an indoor ‘hidden’ garden, as well as moveable furniture for students to reconfigure the space as suited to their needs.

UCLan’s Michael Ahern said: “The University is determined that the first delivery from the masterplan will substantially benefit existing students, which is why the new student social spaces are the first new facilities that will open. It’s great fun to do as the designs are being heavily led by the Students’ Union, their creativity and deep understanding of what students want is invaluable.”

Robert Hopkins, regional director at AHR, said: “The university experience is so much broader than formal learning and UCLan has recognised this in the social space project. It’s an exciting project to be working on, collaborating so closely with the student body to ensure these spaces deliver exactly what they want, resulting in a campus they will stay on for longer and a better student experience overall.”

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