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Design Engine lodges plans for phase 1 of £125m university makeover

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Plans have been submitted for phase one of a £125 million masterplan by Design Engine to overhaul London Metropolitan University

The designs for the university’s Holloway Road campus in north London include a two-storey addition to the existing J Block, increasing its height to four storeys.

The proposals also include moving the students’ union in J Block to another building on the campus, which will be refurbished by Perkins+Will. They comprise the first phase of a £125 million masterplan by Design Engine for the university which will involve closing its buildings in Aldgate and Moorgate and moving all its schools to the north London campus.

John Ridgett, director of Design Engine, said the scheme offered ‘the opportunity to reinvigorate the teaching and learning experience for students and staff alike’. 

If the plans are approved, work is expected to start on site in 2017, with completion set for summer 2019. 

Later phases will involve a central courtyard, designed by landscape architect Gustafson Porter + Bowman, and refurbishing the unversity’s tower building. 

Bond Bryan Architects is refurbishing another building on the campus to create new teaching spaces as part of the overhaul. And BDP is carrying out a feasibility study into building a new sustainable energy centre on the campus. 

Architect’s view: J Block extension 

The design approach taken to the two-storey extension has been to interpret the existing building in a contemporary way. This helps tie the new and old together so you read the completed building as a whole. The approach to the extension also defines an architectural strategy that can be used as further phases of the masterplan are developed. This will help create a greater coherence to the campus as a whole.

The proposal also creates a critical mass of teaching and learning space to generate a new and dynamic environment absolutely fundamental in a modern higher education establishment. This requires the re-imagining and reconfiguration of the building to create a new learning and teaching building truly fit for purpose.

Project data

Location Holloway Road campus, London
Type of project University
Client London Metropolitan University
Architect Design Engine Architects
Project Manager Faithful + Gould
Planning consultant Cushman & Wakefield
Structural engineer Buro Happold
M&E consultant Buro Happold
Cost consultant Gardiner & Theobald
Gross internal floor area 5,158 m²

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