Campus developments: Places & spaces around the world

We take a look at some innovative developments on and around campus in the UK and around the world

University of Arkansas, USA

The new Anthony Timberlands Center building at The University of Arkansas “is a storybook of timber”, says architect Yvonne Farrell.

“We want people to experience the versatility of timber, both as the structural ‘bones’ and the enclosing ‘skin’ of this new building.”

The new timber research centre – part of the Fay Jones School of Architecture & Design – will be built along Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard in the south of Fayetteville. Designed by Farrell’s Dublin-based Grafton Architects, the timber construction will have a zig-zagging roofline that staggers down from approximately six stories at its highest height to one level at the rear. Inside, skylights will flood the space with daylight, while the wood construction will be left exposed.

The new building will be home to a new graduate programme in timber and wood design and will house the university’s design-build programme and fabrication technologies laboratories.

“The building itself is a teaching tool, displaying the strength, colour, grain, texture and beauty of the various timbers used,” Farrell adds.

Yvonne Farrell and fellow director Shelley McNamara have just been named as the 2020 laureates of international architecture competition the Pritzker Prize.

Modular living

Bisley’s new bedroom furniture range, Adobe by Bisley, is made entirely from wood and has been created for single-living environments, such as halls of residence. The collection of modular wooden bedroom furniture has been designed to withstand the daily wear and tear of everyday life, while maintaining comfort and a contemporary aesthetic.

The brand-new range of wooden bedroom furniture has been made with meticulous care and attention to detail and includes all the elements you might need to create a single living space to stand the test of time, including a range of accessories to enable a bespoke, integrated feel and make the best use of space.

With a choice of practical finishes and closures, the collection has the flexibility to furnish a variety of sectors including student accommodation.

Bisley technical director Paul Ostrolenk comments: “Abode is an exceptionally hard-working range that is designed for single living, but, like all Bisley products, is made for life.”

Brac University, Bangladesh

Polluted wasteland in Dhaka will be transformed into a public park and facilities for BRAC University, ready to open in 2021. The 13-storey building will have ‘green’ walls to help cool the building and a giant photovoltaic roof canopy that will shelter a sky park, complete with a field, swimming pool and a 200-metre-long running track.

Modelled on the Sundarbans, a type of forest found in the region that has separate ecosystems above and below sea level, the campus will measure 88,000 square metres and be divided into two distinct zones: the building and the park, with private and public areas.

At the heart of the building will be an auditorium, a multifunctional hall and a public gallery, forming a nucleus for both students and public alike.

The public zone will house a bio-retention pond – a shallow landscaped area designed to treat polluted storm water runoff – surrounded by native plants.

Singapore architect WOHA aims to reflect the aims of BRAC University “to instil in its students a commitment to working towards national development”, says co-founder Richard Hassell, adding, “The new BRAC University will serve as a unique model for new campuses worldwide by upcycling inner city wastelands into social aggregators for the next generation.”

Newcastle University

Newcastle University’s much-anticipated multi-million-pound sports hall features a 180-station gym, eight-court sports hall, and a high-performance strength and conditioning suite – it’s also three times bigger than before and has wheelchair access.

During construction, Darlington Door Services was commissioned to supply and install four up-and-over sports doors for the facility. One of the key considerations was that the doors needed to be robust enough to withstand potential impact damage from ball games and sporting equipment, as well as being able to cope with high usage.

The Hörmann SP 500 sports hall doors have an elastic impact surface, providing a force reduction of more than 60% making them ideal for areas where ball games will take place. They are also fitted with a shock-resistant safety track cladding with adjustable plastic rollers on ball bearings to reduce wear and tear and ensure longer periods of maintenance-free use.

Stuart Shaw, national field sales manager at Hörmann UK, says: “Newcastle University is not only a highly prestigious educational facility but it really is the pride of Newcastle with its iconic buildings sitting in the heart of the city. The new sports hall redevelopment will provide state-of-the-art facilities for current and future students, so it was fantastic to be involved in this project.”


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