University chooses team for Campus design
The University of Northampton has selected Alison Brooks Architects as the winner of a two stage Master Plan competition for architects to plan future developments at its 14.5 acre Avenue Campus on St. George’s Avenue in Northampton.
Gill Winder, Director of Estates at the University, said: “We are delighted to have reached the end of this Design Competition, which was supported by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). “The process brought us many excellent schemes to consider and the final choice was carefully reviewed by jury panel members. We now look forward to the next exciting challenge of developing design ideas and concepts into a visionary Master Plan that meets our future ambitions as a University.”
The Master Plan aims to predict the development of The University of Northampton’s Avenue Campus over the next 15-20 years, embracing short term accommodation needs and longer term plans for growth and enhanced excellence in Arts, Sciences and Technology, community facilities and business engagement”.
The two academic Schools based at Avenue Campus are Arts and Applied Sciences and the two respective Deans, Paul Middleton and Kamal Bechkoum, are determined to fully exploit this opportunity to build a revitalised campus that has local, regional and national impact.
Paul Middleton stated “This is an exciting time in the School of The Arts’ history as we develop our teaching, learning and research to meet the needs of a rapidly changing and challenging world. The School of The Arts embraces new technologies in a dynamic cross-discipline mix that will drive our vision for a creative technologies campus. I believe the chosen proposal by Alison Brooks Architects will provide a powerful statement which captures and projects our collective values and ambitions”
Kamal Beckhoum added: "It was a thorough and extremely informative process with lots of good ideas and some exciting proposals about how to shape our Campus of the future. The design presented by Alison Brooks Architects is definitely the most encompassing of the University's vision for tomorrow's Avenue Campus".
The successful Architects Alison Brooks Architects Ltd (ABA) commented: “We are delighted to have won this competition which we hope will be a landmark project for The University of Northampton and UK Higher Education facilities in general. Our scheme proposes a collection of new buildings around a series of landscaped courtyards and a complete transformation of the Maidwell Building into a ‘Forum’, conceived as the new heart for the Campus. We look forward to working with the University to strengthen the Campus’ identity and provide excellent new facilities for students, staff and Northampton’s wider creative business community.”
ABA will be working on the Avenue Campus Master Plan with a design team comprising AKT Consulting Engineers Limited (Structural Consultants), Davis Langdon (Quantity Surveyors), Grant Associates (Landscape Architecture consultancy), Max Fordham (Mechanical & Electrical & sustainability) and Steer Davis Gleave (Transport Consultants). Further details are available from the website www.alisonbrooksarchitects.com
The chair of the jury panel Roger Hawkins, of Hawkins Brown Architects, was appointed by the RIBA to lend his expertise as an Architect to the decision making process said: “There was a high standard of work throughout this competition which serves to illustrate the quality of Alison Brooks' proposal".
A key element of the selection criteria was environmental sustainability. BRE supported the University by providing a team of its experts to review the final submissions. Kevin Scobell from BRE, also a jury panel member, commented: "The University of Northampton have assembled a world-class team to deliver their ambitious vision for future. BRE has been greatly impressed with the work and progress so far and is delighted to be working with architects of such renown as Alison Brooks."
Mr Graeme Smart Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, (CABE) advisor also part of the jury panel, commented: "The rigorous competition process followed has produced a worthy winner in Alison Brooks Architects".
The next phase of work on the Master Plans involves further development of the concepts and consultation with students, staff, local residents and key stakeholders such as local planning officers and business to ensure the plans developed have taken into account the views from a broad spectrum of groups.
The University hopes to finalise its plans in 2010.