UCLan confirms HawkinsBrown £60m project win

The architecture practice will now produce a final proposal for the University of Central Lancashire’s £60m civic square and student support centre, which is due to complete in 2019.

As revealed last week by Place North West, the Manchester-based Hawkins\Brown beat six other practices, including Austin-Smith:Lord, Feilden Clegg Bradley and Sheppard Robson.

New artist’s impressions showing Hawkins\Brown’s concept for the project have been released. The scheme is the University’s flagship in its £200m 10-year campus masterplan.

According to UCLan, Hawkins\Brown’s design received the most positive comments from members of the public in a series of exhibitions which ran alongside a RIBA competition.

Uclan Hawkins Brown interior

The concept featured a biodiverse roof, LED lighting, a pavilion café bar and “a large glass façade to create feelings of light, space and airiness”.

It has been created using the idea of “threads” to connect the University and the city, drawing on Preston’s textile heritage and its future in aerospace electronics.

The design team includes landscape architect Plincke and lighting designer Jason Bruges Studio.

David Taylor, chairman of the University Board, commented: “We already have two world-class architecture practices working with us on the Masterplan in SimpsonHaugh and Partners and AHR, and now we have a third with the appointment of the team from Hawkins\Brown. The standard of submissions was very high but it was Hawkins\Brown’s visually impactful, well thought-out concept design which won the day.

“Hawkins\Brown demonstrated a true understanding of what students want, and of the city of Preston with the concept design referencing our industrial heritage. It is a firm which has extensive experience of partnering with universities and, importantly, the final design will deliver on our ambition of drawing the University and city together like never before.”

AECOM is project and cost manager, and BDP is providing a range of multi-disciplinary engineering services for the student support centre and square.

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