Masterplan vision for a new university in Milton Keynes

We are competing to design a new university in Milton Keynes, in collaboration with Sam Jacob Studio and KCAP.

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; it also plans to offer fast-track two-year degrees. MK:U, a partnership between MKC and Cranfield University, will use the new University Quarter and the wider city as a ‘living lab’ to test out new concepts and ideas, and inspire Milton Keynes’ students and citizens. Benefitting from the last major undeveloped site in the city centre, and mixing university facilities with public spaces, MK:U will also be a destination open 24/7, welcoming the wider community.

Our proposal

Milton Keynes originated as a place where knowledge, leisure, culture, technology and nature all come together, and this ambition continues to the present day. Milton Keynes University (MK:U) is a natural next step for the city as it becomes a place of national importance within the Oxford-MK-Cambridge corridor.

The original Milton Keynes Masterplan was likened to a net thrown across the English countryside, a layer of woven connections that mediates with the landscape. Working in collaboration with KCAP and Sam Jacob Studio, Hawkins\Brown has taken this metaphor, the campus as a network of connections embedded within a landscape, to inform a masterplan designed around a series of gardens, courts and vistas.

The Hawkins\Brown team’s design brings people together in a series of flexible and deliverable, mixed-use buildings organised around a central spine. This generous landscaped promenade, on which every building has an address, will become the beating heart of the campus – a place where memories are created and life-long friendships made.

Project Summary

  • Project name: Milton Keynes University
  • Location: Milton Keynes, UK
  • Sector: Education & Research
  • Type: New build
  • Status: Concept

Project Team

Sam Jacob Studio
Grant Associates
BuroHappold Engineering

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