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We are delighted to be part of the Co:MK:U team shortlisted for the masterplan and concept design of the new MK:U university.
The team – WilkinsonEyre and AECOM with Spaces that Work, Mecanoo, dRMM, Publica and Contemporary Art Society – was inspired by the potential for MK:U to ‘make a great city greater’, a place intrinsically of Milton Keynes, where nature and city life are brought together offering qualities to fulfil the promise of Derek Walker’s original ‘City Club’ vision; sociable and welcoming to all.
Our masterplan celebrates the spatial hierarchy of the city’s geometry, the planning grid generating an array of mixed-use building blocks for living and learning, predominantly low rise with residential buildings giving accents of height and three higher towers becoming beacons in the skyline to signify this new, exciting 21st Century institution. The Forum is not a single building but a clearing, a space to gather, in the heart of MK:U. The square—Avebury Square—is framed north and south by two public buildings. Each building across MK:U takes a subtly individual identity giving MK:U a built environment of distinctive and varied architectural character.
MK:U, a partnership between Milton Keynes Council (MKC) and Cranfield University, will focus on digital economy skills and practical, business-oriented courses, using the new university and the city as a ‘living lab’ to test out new concepts and ideas. Benefitting from the last major undeveloped site in the city centre, and mixing university facilities with public spaces, MK:U will also be a destination open 24/7, welcoming the wider community.
The five shortlisted MK:U masterplan visions are now available to view on the Malcolm Reading Consultants competition website. The designs, along with physical models and videos are also on display in a free exhibition, Milton Keynes: A Journey to 2050, between 4–7 July 2019 in Middleton Hall, the centre:mk, Milton Keynes. MKC is encouraging public feedback on the concepts, either by comment card or email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Feedback will be passed to the twelve competition jurors who will meet to interview the teams and select the winner later in the month.