A £35 million Student Centre set within a generous natural landscape has been submitted for planning permission by the University of York.
The distinctive Centre will serve 19,000 students and create an exciting new arrival point on Campus West, forming a gateway between city and campus. The landscape by LDA Design was inspired by the 18th century gardens of Heslington Hall, a Grade II* listed manor house now part of the University’s estate.
The Student Centre is designed by ADP Architecture and O’Donnell + Tuomey. It responds to the visual patterns of York Minster, uses natural or recycled materials and will be carbon negative. A rooftop garden will draw people up through the tapered building, and a series of internal south-facing winter gardens and social spaces wrap around the ground and first floor linking the building directly to the retained and reimagined Garden Bridge situated between the listed University Library.
The landscape is designed to provide students with social spaces. The Centre is fronted by a new University Square with space for large events such as graduation ceremonies. The Square is linked to a series of gardens and lawns. Planted social terraces step down towards the lake.
Mark Graham, a director at LDA Design and Manchester studio lead, says: “This has been a fantastic project to develop further following on from a competition win. The plans will deliver a significant, welcoming landscape which lets nature in for the benefit of students, staff and the wider city. Time has been spent engaging with students so that the designs reflect what they might need from this centre.”
Subject to the planning outcome, the ambition is for work to begin spring 2024.