Competing Masterplan Visions for MK:U Revealed

The team HawkinsBrown with KCAP, Grant Associates, BuroHappold Engineering and Sam Jacob Studio is one of the five finalist teams in the MK:U International Design Competition.

Today, Milton Keynes Council (MKC), Cranfield University and MK:U International Design Competition organisers, Malcolm Reading Consultants (MRC), posted online the five alternative masterplan visions for MK:U, a proposed new model university in the Oxford to Cambridge innovation arc.

The proposed new university, which is due to open to its first undergraduates in 2023, will focus on digital economy skills and practical, business-oriented courses; it also plans to offer fast-track two-year degrees. MK:U, a partnership between MKC and Cranfield University, will use the new University Quarter and the wider city as a ‘living lab’ to test out new concepts and ideas, and inspire Milton Keynes’ students and citizens. 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.

Five finalist teams are vying to win the competition and their masterplans are now available to view on the competition website

HawkinsBrown with KCAP, Grant Associates, BuroHappold Engineering and Sam Jacob Studio: 

Milton Keynes originated as a place where knowledge, leisure, culture, technology and nature all come together, and this ambition continues to the present day. Milton Keynes University (MK:U) is a natural next step for the city as it becomes a place of national importance within the Oxford-MK-Cambridge corridor.

The original Milton Keynes Masterplan was likened to a net thrown across the English countryside, a layer of woven connections that mediates with the landscape. We have taken this metaphor, the campus as a network of connections embedded within a landscape, to inform a masterplan designed around a series of gardens, courts and vistas.

Our design brings people together in a series of flexible and deliverable, mixed-use buildings organised around a central spine. This generous landscaped promenade, on which every building has an address will become the beating heart of the campus – a place where memories are created and life-long friendships made.

The designs, along with physical models and videos, will also go on display in a free exhibition, Milton Keynes: A Journey to 2050, between 4–7 July 2019 in Middleton Hall, thecentre:mk, Milton Keynes.

Please find here the press release by MKC, Cranfield University and MRC.