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.