University Masterplan gives students a taste of industry

Architecture students at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) are gaining valuable industry experience while fulfilling live briefs, thanks to the institution’s £200 million Masterplan.


First year students have been tasked with designing a ‘healing environment’ and building a 2x2m scale model of their design, which will be exhibited at the Lancashire Arts Festival later this year.


Principal architects from SimpsonHaugh, which designed UCLan’s Engineering Innovation Centre (EIC), taught the students about taking a brief to a concept and then an advanced design.


The students also took part in a workshop with senior management from BAM, main contractors on the EIC project, to learn about best construction practices and how architects work with construction firms.


Students then presented their ideas to BAM’s site manager and design manager, who gave them feedback on how to improve their work.


They will now develop their concept alongside the BAM team, before constructing the healing environment in semester three.


Additionally, foundation architecture students have been allocated a hypothetical space on the New Square, part of the circa £60 million flagship student centre, to design a pop up pavilion for public use.


Suggestions have included turning the pavilion into a library, box office, meeting space and a shop, but students must consider the surroundings, who will use it and how much space they would require.


They will also receive mentoring from BAM and Hawkins\Brown, architects for the flagship student centre and New Square, before building small scale models of their pavilions which they will present to the architects in a Dragon’s Den style pitch.


The winning student will be awarded a two-week work placement at Hawkins\Brown.


Michael Ahern, Chief Operating Officer at UCLan, said:

Throughout the University’s £200 million investment, it is vital that we utilise the opportunities that having so many contractors and external companies on campus provides.


We are committed to providing real-world learning and live projects to work on, and these are two examples of enriching opportunities for our students. It will be exciting to see their imaginative proposals take shape.”


The University’s five-year, £200 million Masterplan will create a unified, sustainable and welcoming campus and will see the completion of four major projects: The Engineering Innovation Centre, social spaces, Oasis faith and spirituality centre, and the student centre and New Square.


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