Places & spaces: February 2022

A round up of most impressive new design and construction projects on university and college campuses across the UK and beyond

Prestige University, Indore, India

Over 100 rooftop gardens connected by small staircases top a new building for Prestige University in Indore, India, designed by Sanjay Puri Architects in Mumbai.

Stepped up from its north side, the five-storey building’s grass-covered roof is intended to be an accessible terrace for recreational activities of students and staff.

The low-rise, red brick building is designed to blend into its surroundings, and as such seems to be rising out of the ground. Inspired by traditional Indian architecture, it uses open-air sections to provide natural ventilation in response to the city’s typical high temperatures – Sanjay Puri Architects recently also completed the Rajasthan School in India, which integrated the shade from oversized pergolas to cope with the desert climate.

The new project for Prestige will house a cafeteria, administration offices, an auditorium, a library and classrooms. The building is scheduled to be completed in June 2022.

The planned campus building at Prestige University includes a new structure with a stepped, 'green' roof.
The planned campus building at Prestige University includes a new structure with a stepped, ‘green’ roof. Image copyright: Sanjay Puri Architects.


UCL Council has given conditional approval for a purpose-built, integrated eye-care centre called Oriel – a joint initiative between UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (Moorfields), and Moorfields Eye Charity.

The new centre will be near other important health and research institutes making it part of an emerging scientific hub in Camden’s Knowledge Quarter.

The proposed new centre received a £30m grant from Research England in 2019. It will now receive £44.5m of UCL funding, conditional on securing additional sources of funding.

Professor Alan Thompson, Dean of the UCL Faculty of Brain Sciences, said: “This is a great achievement, and the next step in developing a transformative centre for advanced eye health. Oriel will deliver world-leading eye care for patients, the best education for students, and research for the benefit of the whole population.”

The planned UCL eye research facility is a partnership with local NHS providers.

Staffordshire University London

Staffordshire University London has doubled the size of its state-of-the-art campus after an extensive expansion project.

The development brings more open-plan spaces, digital facilities and social spaces to the campus, which is based at Here East next to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Staffordshire University London now comprises three distinct areas: virtual production suite The Production Warehouse; new ‘future thinking’ centre for computer science students The Data Junction; and social hub The Digital Loft.

“We’re delighted that the work to double the size of our campus has now been completed,” said director of Staffordshire University London Matt Brindley-Sadler.

“We wanted to expand our campus for our students by providing an atmosphere where innovation and creativity can flourish and they are empowered to create the uncreated. This approach has been reinforced by a recent international recruiter who visited the campus who said, ‘It is fantastic to be able to walk into a 2030 campus in 2021.’”

Staffordshire University London
The facilities at Staffordshire University London include a new ‘future thinking’ centre for computer science students.

University of Gloucestershire

A former Debenhams store in Gloucester is one step closer to being transformed into a University of Gloucestershire site now that a planning application for phase one of the project has been submitted.

The proposed new centre for teaching, learning and community partnerships is designed to support the university’s plans for growth while also helping regenerate Gloucester city centre – the project is the centrepiece of the city’s successful £20m bid to the government’s Levelling Up Fund.

Phase one includes converting the first three floors of the 1930 art deco building into learning and practical teaching spaces, a university library, student ‘Helpzones’, a faith space, the students’ union headquarters and a public access café. One large lecture theatre will double as a conferencing and exhibition space. The university is also in discussions with Gloucestershire County Council about a new public library on the ground floor.

To create the new city campus, ADP Architecture will work with contractor the Morgan Sindall Group, and project managers Ridge & Partners LLP.

The university hopes to be granted planning permission this spring, with the first staff and students set to walk through the doors from September 2023.

University of Gloucestershire's City Campus - PROPOSED ELEVATIONS 02
A former Debenham’s store in Gloucester will provide a new home for the city’s university.

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