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Lancaster University RIBA Competition

Lancaster University

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​Rick Mather Architects
Competition | Past

​Lancaster University

Lancaster University was seeking to select a multi-disciplinary team with innovative design skills to rejuvenate The ‘Spine’ - the principal pedestrian walkway on its Bailrigg campus - and transform it into an inspirational space where people learn, work, live and socialise.

Invited Education and Health

The Lancaster University Competition was won by a team led by Rick Mather Architects, working in conjunction with Grant Associates, Eckersley O’Callaghan, Mott MacDonald and DHA Lighting.

The Rick Mather Architects team was selected from a five strong shortlist that also included (in alphabetical order of the Lead Applicant) Gustafson Porter Ltd; Land Use Consultants; Shepheard Epstein Hunter and White Arkitekter.

The Judging Panel which evaluated the Stage 2 design submissions comprised, from the University: the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, the Director of Facilities and the President of the Lancaster University Students Union. They were joined by RIBA Chartered Architects Geoff Alsop and Jim Chapman (acting as the RIBA Architect Adviser to the competition), together with the Chief Officer for Regeneration and Planning at Lancaster City Council.

The Judging Panel recognised the complexity of the challenge that the five teams had been set. Whilst acknowledging the pioneering model that Lancaster had provided for University campus design in the 1960’s and 1970’s, Rick Mather Architects’ proposals focused on the demands and future needs of a modern University in an approach which considered the campus as a whole. The team’s vision involved re-defining The ‘Spine’ as a necklace thoroughfare with enlivened building frontages, and a series of characterful connecting spaces with interesting diagonal relationships to better knit the campus together.


"Rick Mather Architects’ submission demonstrated a convincing intellectual process, with a good logic to the proposed phasing to test design strategies and help minimise disruption to campus life. We very much look forward to working with the RMA team to develop the ideas presented".

Mark Swindlehurst (Lancaster University, Director of Facilities)


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