Work starts on UCLan’s circa £60 million Student Centre and new civic square

Bowmer + Kirkland has started work on the University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) circa £60 million Student Centre and new civic square.

The Hawkins\Brown designed scheme sees the 7,304 sqm building providing a new reception area, informal learning spaces and a student wellbeing support centre.

Part of the project will see a new civic square being created forming an iconic gateway to Preston, spanning 8,440 sqm. It will provide flexible and adaptable spaces for a wide range of community, public, business and student uses.

The Student Centre will comprise over 387 tonnes of steel and will also have over 1,850 sqm of glazing, which at its highest aspect will stretch to 13 metres tall.

Its construction will feature an innovative aluminium screen system that manages the amount of natural light into the building, negating the need for intensive air conditioning systems.

Incorporated into the 5,400 sqm of natural stone granite paving that will form the new civic square, there will be controllable threads of lighting that will create dynamic pathways. The design was created by award-winning lighting consultancy, Jason Bruges Studio.

Wider improvements to landscaping and the public realm in the Adelphi Quarter of the City will also be carried out as part of the wider programme of works.

Michael Ahern, UCLan’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “We’ve seen the completion of three projects in the past year – our multi-faith centre Oasis and the student Social Spaces, not forgetting the Engineering Innovation Centre (EIC) which will welcome students this September and now we’re starting work on this flagship project.

“We wanted this project to be a real asset to the City and the thought and innovation that has gone into the design and build is something we can be rightly proud of. It will make such positive difference to the campus and Preston.”

David Taylor, Pro-Chancellor and Chair of the University Board, added: “This is a real milestone for our Masterplan. It signals the start of a highly significant project – not only in terms of what it will mean to our staff and students but also the people who live, work in and visit Preston. The new square will provide a fantastic, civic space for all the community to use, and heralds a new vision for the Adelphi Quarter.

“We believe that this final piece in the jigsaw will attract more people to the City but also act as a catalyst for further investment into the physical and economic regeneration of Preston.”

Neil Brook, Bowmer + Kirkland’s North West Regional Director, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this exciting scheme for UCLan, it represents a significant milestone for the North West region.  We look forward to working collaboratively to deliver what will be an exceptional scheme when completed for the University and the students who will occupy it.”


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