Work starts on UCLan’s £60 million student centre and civic square

Work has started on the University of Central Lancashire's £60m student hub masterplan.

Tuesday, 27th August 2019, 11:49 am
Updated Tuesday, 27th August 2019, 12:49 pm
Michael Ahern, UCLans Chief Operating Officer, Bob Turner, Project Manager at UCLan, Caitlin McLaren, Students Union President, David Taylor, UCLans Pro-Chancellor and Chair of the University Board and John Kirkland, Life President of Bowmer + Kirkland

Contractor Bowmer + Kirkland has started work on the scheme, to the immediate north of the Adelphi roundabout in Preston, which will see a new student centre and civic square created.

The masterplan, designed by Hawkins\Brown, will bring a new reception area, informal learning spaces and a student well-being support centre.

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

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An artist's illustration of the student centre

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 UCLan's Board, added: "This is a real milestone for our Masterplan.

David Taylor, UCLan's Pro-Chancellor and Chair of the University Board with John Kirkland, Life President of Bowmer + Kirkland

"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."

The student centre's 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.

An artist's illustration of the student centre

Incorporated into the 5,400 square metre 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.

The square will provide flexible and adaptable spaces for a wide range of community, public, business and student uses.

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."