Daniel Libeskind has won a competition to design a £2.5 million graduate school for the University of North London, his first university building in Europe. The university is no stranger to top architects: Zaha Hadid won its first competition - for a bridge. This will take off from Libeskind's 1,000m 2building and land across the Holloway Road at the West Campus site, for which a third competition will soon be launched, completing the development.
Libeskind's design, 'Orion', comprises three intersecting volumes and is clad entirely in enamelled steel panels, creating an everchanging surface. Windows are conceived as large geometrical cuts, providing accentuated natural light for the cafe, galleries and seminar rooms. Five other practices competed to design the building: Pascall + Watson; Nicholas Hare Architects; Jestico + Whiles; Future Systems; and Hodder Associates. The project will be part-funded by a capital grant from the Higher Education Funding Council for England.