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Competition: University of Leeds student hub

University of Leeds Western Campus
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The RIBA has launched a contest for a new ‘statement building’ for the University of Leeds

The competition seeks an architect and landscape architect to deliver a new 4,000m² student hub featuring innovative teaching spaces; quiet study, social and peer learning spaces; a café, maker space, functional outdoor areas, and landscaping.

The three-storey Passivhaus complex will form a new centrepiece for the prestigious university’s Western Campus located around 05km from the university’s main campus. It will replace an existing single-storey temporary teaching block which occupies a green space formerly home to a cricket pitch.

According to the brief: ‘The university is seeking a new statement building which will accommodate spaces for teaching & learning, collaborative & interdisciplinary working, educational outreach activities for diverse groups, student entrepreneurship, personal development and challenge.

‘As a new focal point for the university’s Western Campus, the building must be inclusive to attract a diverse range of students and support them beyond the confines of their subject discipline. It will operate as a forum for learning where students will be able to engage with peers, academics, employability professionals and other external experts.’

The University of Leeds is the fifth largest university in the UK with around 33,300 students. Its main 40ha campus features a variety of Gothic Revival, Art Deco and Brutalist buildings, including the Grade II*-listed Roger Stevens Building by Chamberlin, Powell & Bon.

Recent schemes delivered by the university include a £16 million library on Woodhouse Lane by ADP. The university is part way through delivering a £200 million regeneration masterplan draw up by ADP.

Upcoming projects include a new £40 million ‘Nexus’ building by Associated Architects. As part of the regeneration programme, a listed building management strategy has been created by Avanti Architects for the university’s nine listed post-war buildings.

In April, the University of Leeds launched a £15.8 million construction consultancy services framework covering a range of projects valued above £2 million, including new builds and the refurbishment of listed structures.

Planned to complete in 2022, the new student hub provide a ‘community heart of the Western Campus – both for business and law students, and for students from across the university.’

Five finalists will be selected following the completion of a selection questionnaire and invited to draw up conceptual proposals for the new complex. A honorarium of £6,000 + VAT is available to each team.

Submissions will be judged 75 per cent on quality and 25 per cent on cost. Judges will include John Whiles of Jestico + Whiles who will be acting as RIBA Adviser; Steve Gilley director of estates at The University of Leeds; and Alistair Mullis, head of the university’s law school.

An overall winner will be announced in October. The deadline for applications is 2pm, 15 July.

How to apply

Visit the competition website for more information

Contact details

RIBA Competitions
No 1 Aire Street

Tel: 0113 203 1490
Email: riba.competitions@riba.org



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