UCLan Student Centre and New Square\

Flexible social learning spaces

Our design for UCLan's new building creates a flexible loose-fit container that offers a range of different spaces which can adapt and change over time, responding to new ways of learning.

The new Student Centre is designed to feel like a student space rather than a departmental space, with a sense of student ‘ownership’ helping to facilitate social interaction, collaboration and learning. Spaces have been designed to emphasise variety, ranging from vibrant social spaces to quiet study areas.

The curving façade of the new building embraces the square with a high colonnade, offering shade and shelter and drawing the square into the building, allowing a welcome transition between inside and out. This open space continues inside the building, with a full-height atrium that forms the social heart of the Student Centre, and can also be used for informal performances, talks or events.

Building design concept

The design is influenced by both Preston’s textile industry heritage and its future in aerospace and electronics. This is expressed in the idea of filaments, circuit routes, and threads, which act as an analogy to the path that a student takes through life and learning at university.

The threads are used in the landscape as illuminated elements, drawing people toward the entrance of the building, while the stepped central space of the building is a confluence through which the threads are guided, emerging in St Peter’s Square and continuing as a landscape element through the University.

Project Summary

Project Team

Multidisciplinary Engineer: BDP
Landscape Architect: Plincke
Lighting Art Design: Jason Bruges Studio
Project Manager & Cost Consultancy: AECOM


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