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FCBS wins second major university project in two days

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Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios (FCBS) has scooped the contest for a new design faculty at the University of Plymouth just 24 hours after landing a major job at another south coast university

Yesterday (4 December) the practice was announced as winner of a high-profile RIBA-backed competition to design a £60 million landmark building at the University of Portsmouth.

Now it has seen off an unnamed shortlist, understood to have included 2014 Stirling Prize winner Haworth Tompkins, to win the ‘carbon neutral’ mainly retrofit project.

The 10,650m² New Engineering and Design Facility (NEDF) project will reconfigure and refurbish the existing four-storey 1970s Babbage Building and create a 3,140m² extension.

The judges described FCBS’s scheme as an ‘eye-catching concept design which would transform the western edge of the main campus’.

University vice-chancellor Judith Petts said: ‘[FCBS’s] vision – to design outstanding buildings that inspire those who work within them – mirrors our own aspiration for this new facility.

‘It also marks an exciting first step in our long-term campus masterplan, unlocking opportunities to make our whole estate more inviting and inspiring for everyone connected to the university.’

She added: ‘This new facility will create a space where students, researchers and industry come together to develop new ideas that enable society to meet some of its most pressing global challenges. By encouraging innovation in engineering and design, we can be at the forefront of supporting regional and national industrial strategies, now and in the future.’

FCBS partner Tom Jarman said the scheme would ‘promote creativity, cross-disciplinary collaboration and wellbeing and is in line with our shared sustainable design goals’.

He added: ‘Our proposals create an open and connected building that will house a wide range of teaching and workshop spaces for the engineering and architecture schools.

‘The scheme retains the 1979 Babbage Building, extending it volumetrically to create a series of interlocking parts. On the upper level, terraces connect visually to the landscape and provide additional outdoor teaching spaces.’

A full planning application for the new building will now be developed, with the project’s completion expected in summer 2022.

The University of Plymouth has around 21,600 students and 2,900 staff with its campus next to the city’s main station.

Key campus landmarks include the copper-clad Roland Levinsky Building by Henning Larsen and BDP, The House performing arts centre by Burwell Deakins, and another building by FCBS, the Plymouth School of Creative Arts

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