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University of York - Heslington East Campus, York, United Kingdom

Monday 12 Mar 2012

Learning in balance

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Award Entry

BDP's new facility for University of York takes inspiration form the concept of Yin & Yang 

This new ‘living and learning' campus on greenbelt land is designed around the landscape and principles of integration, connectivity and social and community use. The design establishes groupings of clusters, setting up a series of sequential experiences addressing uses and activities, massing and form, walking times, microclimate, connectivity with adjacent clusters and the master
plan as a whole, views in and out and future expansion potential.

The brief for Cluster 1 was for four academic buildings, Theatre Film and Television, the schools of Law and Management, Computer Science and the interdisciplinary Hub, as well as knowledge transfer space and a 600 bed Goodricke College residential development. A close relationship of residential and academic spaces was sought to create a vibrant integrated community. This has been achieved in the masterplan by the wrapping of the academic and college buildings in a Yin and Yang arrangement reinforcing the symbiotic relationship between them.

The design of the new masterplan evolved through close collaboration with the University. Academic and residential buildings are clustered around a gateway building, the Hub, which contains both shared research facilities and social spaces. The Hub is strategically placed as a gateway to draw visitors to the lakeside at the end of the main access route into the campus. BDP's proposals for Heslington East sought to continue the best aspects of the original campus and reinvigorate them in a contemporary manner: considering diversity, variety, informality both of buildings and landscape, the creation of micro-environments relating to individual buildings, human scale development and
identifiable academic departments, all carefully considered in relation to the wider landscape context.

Heslington East Campus is a truly 21st century University environment. It addresses the challenges of climate change while providing an environment that nurtures true interdisciplinary study and research and is able to accommodate the changing nature of education over its lifetime. The residential college was occupied in December 2009 with the faculty buildings completed for the new academic year in 2010. The project won an RIBA Award for Architecture in 2011.

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Status Completed
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