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RIBA Awards 2013: Campus

Campuses have achieved seven National Award-winning schemes this year - the same number as in 2012

Meanwhile, the balance of EU winners (two this year, versus one last year) and international winners (one this year, versus three last year) has shifted slightly. Glenn Howells Architects’ Bramall Music Building, shortlisted for the AJ100 Building of the Year, makes the list - as does the Colyer-Fergusson Building by Tim Ronalds Architects, which brings a versatile concert hall and teaching rooms to the University of Kent. The EU projects are particularly impressive: David Chipperfield’s HEC MBA Building in Paris, with its 126m-long facade made up of anodised aluminium fins and Grafton Architects’ Medical School student housing and Pergola Bus Shelter for the University of Limerick.

Forth Valley College of Further & Higher Education, Stirling, Reiach and Hall Architects

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Commissioning the new college traditionally allowed the design to evolve in consultation with the client and planners, ensuring the best solution in terms of plan, quality of teaching space, circulation, orientation and value. The plan is straightforward: workshops to the north, creative studios overlooking the river and a teaching block to the south, linked by restaurant and conference facilities. The materials are refined and the detailing worthy of a corporate headquarters.

Bramall Music Building, Birmingham, Glenn Howells Architects

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The architects of the Bramall Music Building (AJ 18.04.13) chose to complete Aston Webb’s early 20th-century masterplan of the University of Birmingham’s seminal buildings in the style of the original. The building houses the music department and includes a 450-seat concert hall. A thorough understanding of the geometry and detailed construction of the existing buildings, with attention to detail and materials, has resulted in a successful modern interpretation of the Byzantine building’s style.

University Of Aberdeen New Library,Schmidt Hammer Lassen

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The new library (AJ 08.12.11) is a bold, angular building for an ancient university. The architect was challenged to produce a 21st-century learning and research environment for students, staff, visitors and the public. At its heart sits the spiralling vortex of the central atrium, connecting all eight storeys. The glass facade is patterned with a design derived from magnified local granite. By day it shimmers, at night it glows softly, a contemporary beacon of aspiration and a luminous new landmark for Aberdeen.

Manchester Metropolitan University Business School, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

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This is a masterpiece of simple concept, fine detailing and thoughtful layout appropriate for graduates entering the business community. Rising from four to nine-storeys towards the Mancunian Way, the building (AJ 31.05.12) gains its presence from a dazzling mirrored and colourful facade, generated by fins throwing changing colours around the otherwise calm and restrained interior. The building’s classic three-fingered plan, chopped at either end at 45º, makes a successful relationship with its neighbour.

The Forum, University Of Exeter, Wilkinson Eyre

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This building (AJS 01.13) gives a centre to a green, yet disparate, campus. A fluid spruce gridshell roof sails over and around existing rectilinear buildings including the library and Great Hall. With this bold juxtaposition come detailing problems that are resolved elegantly and individually. The new 400-seat lecture theatre is unusual and the Forum is extremely popular with both students and staff. The old library has been opened up, giving views through to new and existing spaces, which now read as one.

West Wing, Saïd Business School, Oxford, Dixon Jones

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This is a confidently handled building, the result of a spatially generous brief. The setting has allowed the new wing (AJ 28.03.13) to sit within the landscape of an earlier project, also by Dixon Jones, while completing the civic space in front of Oxford Station. Each space in the building has its own defining character. It has achieved a balance of geometrically ordered rooms with dynamic connecting spaces, turning the routes between rooms into places that will encourage the casual interaction of students and staff.

Colyer-Fergusson Building, Canterbury, Kent, Tim Ronalds Architects

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The Colyer-Fergusson Building (AJ 31.01.13) houses a recital room which is open to anyone in the University of Kent to play or listen. Its foyer is used as an extension to the neighbouring Gulbenkian Arts Centre. Two of the external elevations sit well in the building’s unpromising environment, while the third stands out with an elegant timber and metal-clad canopy. The pebble and flint-faced blockwork is derived from existing blocks of the Gulbenkian. It is warm, strong and entirely appropriate.

University Of Limerick Medical School, Student Housing and Bus Shelter, Grafton Architects

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This project comprises a series of new buildings, which form part of the extension of the University of Limerick across the river Shannon. This new ensemble of a medical school externally clad in limestone, three blocks of student housing and a bus shelter combines with the existing neighbouring institutional buildings to create a new public space. The aspiration was to combine faculty buildings and residences in a manner which encourages overlap and contributes to the life of the public spaces.

MBA Building, HEC Campus, Paris, David Chipperfield Architects & Debarre Duplantiers Associés

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The move to decentralise Paris’s universities to the suburbs was accelerated by the riots of 1968. The HEC moved to an American-style campus, which is now given focus by a new building, forming the gateway to the campus. Clad entirely in a golden anodised aluminium clip panel system, the building is broken into a series of blocks, creating visual variety and a definite rhythm. The budget of £1,700/m2 should please the business leaders of the future who will emerge from its elegant portals.

National University Of Singapore Faculty Housing, MKPL Architects

An addition to the existing Kent Vale residential project, the brief required an iconic design. MKPL’s scheme provides a strong civic quality, adventurous use of high-rise greenery and the planning of facilities for faculty members and their families. The design consists of two towers of student residences with one tower of serviced apartments and a communal facility block. Porticos at the ground floor of each block act as public space. These towers sit within a landscaped garden complete with reflective pools.

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