Creating a new university

Refurbishment and regeneration of the former Kellogg’s Building in Trafford for UA92; a new university inspired by the Class of 92’ that bridges the gap between education and industry.

UA92 is a new university that has been inspired by Gary Neville and the Class of ’92. UA92 aims to ‘unlock greatness’ by reducing the gap between education and industry by creating a game changing and inspiring environment that allows students and professionals to connect and collaborate.

Lancaster University are one of the main partners of UA92 and have been heavily involved in the project and the development of the teaching curriculum which has been split into four distinct subjects that include; sport, media, business and psychology.

Other partners include Microsoft who will be incorporating one of their ‘Experience Centres’ into the building; the space will showcase their latest technology and provide a platform for networking and business development.

UA92 is continuing to develop partnerships with likeminded businesses and it is hoped that the integration of such a rich, diverse and complementary series of uses will create an attractive and exciting destination for students, in addition to transforming the former Kellogg’s site. UA92 welcomed its first cohort of students in September 2019.

“At UA92, we believe that success is down to more than luck and talent. It’s about working hard to be the best. Striving to achieve your dreams. And never giving up until you’ve made it.”

Gary Neville Founder of UA92

The site

The Kellogg’s Building was built in 1990 specifically for Kellogg’s who used the site as their European headquarters for almost 30 years before relocating to Media City at the beginning of the 2018.

The site is located along Talbot Road at the junction with Brian Statham Way, opposite Lancashire County Cricket Club. The building is positioned at the centre of the 10 hectare site which largely consists of soft landscaping and surface car parking that is surrounded by high perimeter fencing which forms a secure edge against the immediate context.

The building has five storeys including a basement level and the external envelope consists of red brickwork with pronounced horizontal banding and regular openings formed for glazing.

The existing building has approximately 13,000 square metres of internal floor area which is provided within a pentagonal form which generates a unique internal configuration that orientates around a full height central atrium.

The challenge

One of our main challenges was to fit the diverse brief geared towards education into an existing building which was previously designed for commercial workspace. This challenge was made slightly more complicated as for the first three years of occupation UA92 will only inhabit the ground and first floors. During our engagement with the academic group at Lancaster University it became apparent that the mix, flexibility and diversity of teaching spaces was paramount to accommodate the predicted cohort sizes, timetabling and specific requirements of the teaching curriculum.

The big idea

One of our main moves was to create a street within the ground floor that provides a new active and multi-functional communal space that not only creates a dynamic entrance but promotes permeability and access allowing building users to meet, socialise, study and connect.

All the larger spaces within UA92 have been organised at ground floor and are accessed off the street, these include the main lecture theatre, ideas mills, media lab and human performance lab, which has been created by readapting the existing gym. Each of the rooms will have high levels of connectivity with the street, which will help animate and enliven the space throughout the day.

The street also helps to activate the central atrium, making it more usable and atmospheric. The existing atrium offered limited opportunity for occupants to utilise the space, it was primarily used for transition which seemed like a missed opportunity given its size, presence and impact on the rest of the building.

To help make better use of the space we have infilled one of the segments of the atrium at ground floor level to incorporate a new 150 seat lecture theatre. The top of the lecture theatre at first floor level has been used to create a new study / library area which will allow occupants the opportunity to use the atrium for longer periods of time.

In conjunction with the street we see this space becoming the new social hub within UA92 that will facilitate and encourage people to come together, share ideas and make new connections.

The small detail

Upon visiting the building it became apparent that a combination of the symmetrical form, pentagonal plan and donut configuration made building users feel disorientated when moving around the space.

Our proposals for the interior design involved stripping the building back to express and celebrate the concrete structure in addition to exposing services. This was complemented by the desire to add moments of colour, not only to enliven the internal spaces but to assist with wayfinding and orientation. UA92 has a very strong and distinctive brand; it is our intention to use this to help curate the palette of colours that are used to animate and inform the internal spaces.

“To see work commence on the UA92 campus is another tremendous step forward. I think it will be a truly inspirational place for students to learn and engage with our partners.”

Gary Neville, Founder of UA92

Project Summary

Project Team

Landlord: Bruntwood, Trafford Council
Project Manager: Zerum
Architect: Hawkins\Brown, BDP
Structural Engineer: DW Consulting
MEP Engineer: Crookes Walker Consulting, Zerum MEP
Quantity Surveyor: Richard Boothroyd & Associates, Appleyard and Trew
Fire Engineer: Design Fire Consultants

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