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University of Central Lancashire, Student Centre and New University Squares


Location Client Cost Completion
Preston, UK University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) £60m 2020

Project details

The landmark student centre and public squares on UCLan’s Preston Campus form a gateway to the university from the city centre. Designed by Hawkins/Brown, it has a curved facade that embraces the square with a high colonnade, transitioning between inside and outside and offering shade and shelter. Internally, a full height, dramatic atrium forms the social heart of the centre and is accompanied by informal learning spaces and a wellbeing support centre.

The south facing facade has been engineered to minimise direct solar gain in summer, capture passive gain in winter, and provide daylighting all year round. The high performance solar glazing is supplemented with a frit which forms part of the architectural narrative. A demand-controlled displacement ventilation system has been installed together with a PV array integrated with the line of the sweeping elevation at roof level. The lighting designers collaborated with Jason Bruges Studio to develop a light art concept which links the new square to the building, whilst our acoustic consultants modelled the facility to allow for maximum open space that can be used for a range of formal and informal activities.


  • develop a holistic engineered solution for the UCLan student centre
  • achieve an EPC A rating and BREEAM Excellent certification
  • design infrastructure to be smart ready and comply with the WELL Building Standards


  • Offsite Awards 2021 - Engineer of the year
  • NW Regional Construction Awards 2021

Integrated services

town planning, building services engineering, civil and structural engineering, acoustics, lighting