OMA . Carmody Groarke

MK:U MASTERPLAN . Milton Keynes

OMA . Carmody Groarke  . MKU MASTERPLAN . Milton Keynes afasia (1)

OMA . Carmody Groarke . images: © Malcolm Reading Consultants / OMA

Revealed alternative masterplan visions for MK:U, a proposed new model university.


Five finalist teams are vying to win the competition and their masterplans are now available to view on the competition website at: https://competitions.malcolmreading.com/mku/shortlist

The proposed new university, which is due to open to its first undergraduates in 2023, will focus on digital economy skills and practical, business-oriented courses.

The five finalist teams are:

· Co:MK:U — WilkinsonEyre and AECOM with Spaces that Work, Mecanoo, dRMM, Publica, Contemporary Art Society and Tricon.

· Hawkins\Brown with KCAP, Grant Associates, BuroHappold Engineering and Sam Jacob Studio.

· Hopkins Architects with Prior + Partners, Expedition Engineering, Atelier Ten, GROSS. MAX., Buro 4, RLB Schumann, GRFN, Caneparo Associates, QCIC, Nick Perry Associates, Access=Design, Cordless Consultants, Sandy Brown Associates, FMDC and Tricon.

· Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands with Architecture 00, Heyne Tillett Steel, Hoare Lea, Bradley-Hole Schoenaich Landscape Architects, Ken Baker, Steer, Iceni, Abell Nepp, Mark London, FMDC, People Friendly Design, PFB Construction Management and FiD.

· OMA with BuroHappold Engineering, Planit-IE, Nicholas Hare Architects, Carmody Groarke, Galmstrup, Approved Consultant Services and Russell Partnership.

MK:U represents a key moment in Milton Keynes ongoing evolution – the introduction of a place to learn, meet and live, in a context so far dominated by business and commerce. Our design proposal opts to inverse the central district’s standard block structure: the perimeter typically reserved for parking becomes a zone for building which “frames” the space typically reserved for buildings to become the university yard. The yard is the ambiance most typically associated with university life: the social space which binds the elements of the educational process together. Existing independently from any specific academic focus, the yard is as fitting for a university of “literature and the arts” as for one of “business and engineering”. Perhaps most significantly, it caters to an expectation of history, which, for a university without an established track-record, to be built in a town less than fifty years old, could prove of eminent importance.

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