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Sun October 20 2019

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Arcadis takes lead on MK uni plans

24 Sep Cranfield University has appointed Arcadis to lead the masterplanning and delivery of the planned MK:U university in Milton Keynes.

Hopkins Architects' designs for the MK:U campus
Hopkins Architects' designs for the MK:U campus

The new MK:U quarter is to be built on a 10 hectare site on Avebury Boulevard, the last major undeveloped site in the city centre. The build project has an overall budget of £188m and is expected to be completed in time for the new university to open its doors in 2023.

Arcadis will be providing full project management services for the development.

Hopkins was selected as architect following a design competition, having impressed the judges with recent work on Harvard University’s new Smith Campus Center, as well as the London 2012 Velodrome.

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The first phase of the planned Milton Keynes development will create the heart of the campus with 61,000 sq m of space comprising a forum with lecture theatre and exhibition space. This will be the central heart to the ‘staff work and study hub’ and teaching spaces. The scheme will also include 1,000 student residences and a 100-bed conference centre, alongside sports and campus facilities.

MK:U will have capacity for 5,000 students and offer courses including digital skills, cyber security, autonomy, robotics and artificial intelligence.

Mel Manku, science and education sector lead at Arcadis, said: “MK:U is a unique opportunity to create a new digitally enabled and adaptable campus which will disrupt the higher education operating model. Not only will it offer flexibility to students but, through engagement with the local community, will have a critical impact on the economy helping to cement the [Cambridge-Milton Keynes-Oxford] arc’s position as the UK’s preeminent knowledge-intensive cluster.”

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