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Mecanoo reveals £350m University of Manchester engineering campus

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Dutch practice Mecanoo has revealed its designs for the University of Manchester’s new £350 million engineering campus

The firm was appointed last year to work up designs for the campus, which the university claims will be one of the largest construction projects ever undertaken by a higher education institution (see AJ 27.05.14).

The campus will eventually house the university’s four engineering schools and two research institutes from the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences.

Martin Schröder, faculty dean, said: ‘The Manchester Engineering Campus Development will inspire engineers to continue our pioneering spirit and to apply their knowledge and help modern industry overcome global challenges, such as climate change, finite natural resources and changing world markets.’

Mecanoo said that the new scheme is planned to act as a gateway between the existing University of Manchester site and the city.

The designs include a dedicated ‘maker space’ to provide workshops for students and academics to share ideas and innovate.

The project is the largest within a wider masterplan for the university, and comprise a mixture of new build and refurbishment, including the overhaul of the university’s grade II-listed Oddfellows Hall.

A statement from the practice said: ‘It will include extensive, modern teaching spaces that reflect the changing demands of students and staff for mobile and flexible learning.

‘Cutting-edge technologies will enable students across all disciplines to engage with new modes of teaching and become part of the “global classroom”.’

The scheme is set to complete in 2020.

In March the Delft-headquartered practice, which is headed up by 2014 AJ Woman Architect of the Year Francine Houben, announced it was expanding its Manchester office as part of a ‘deeper commitment to the UK’.

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