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Competition: University of Louisiana Learning Lab

Dupre Library, University of Louisiana
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The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is holding an open international contest for a landmark new laboratory school

Open to teams featuring at least one architect, the competitions seeks ‘strategic and dramatic’ proposals for a new learning hub which could encourage ‘creativity and curiosity’ and also provide a new template for similar facilities in other universities.

Five first-round winners will receive $1,000 each. Three to five teams will then be invited to proceed to the second stage and receive a $12,000 honorarium to develop their proposals. The winner will enter into an agreement to deliver the UL Learning Lab on the university’s 59ha main campus by autumn 2022.

The brief states: ‘The University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Learning Lab is looking for design concepts that support the core mission: leading education for all of Louisiana. The Learning Lab is a space which advocates for curiosity, creativity, connectivity, and collaboration among students, teachers, administrators, and the community.

‘Submissions are encouraged to break away from traditional educational architecture formulas and think creatively about how the Learning Lab can become an inviting, exciting, and inspiring environment for learning. We hope to receive design submissions incorporating strategic, dramatic design ideas that will follow the school’s aspirations of designing and testing innovative pedagogy and curricula that can be replicated in other community schools.’

Founded in 1898, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette focuses on computer science, engineering and architecture and has almost 20,000 students. It is the largest university within the southern state and landmark buildings on the campus include the Edith Garland Dupré Library (pictured).

The latest competition will select a team to deliver a new experimental learning laboratory on its main campus in the centre of Lafayette. The exact location of the new building has yet to be confirmed.

First round applications must ‘describe and present’ three separate learning spaces using text, renderings and storyboards. Five winners will each receive equal prizes of $1,000. During the second phase teams must team up with a local firm and complete a request for quotation (RfQ).

Between three and five teams will then each receive $12,000 to draw up proposals by 15 November. The first-round registration deadline is 15 September and submissions must be completed by 1 October.

How to apply

Visit the competition website for more information

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