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University of Central Lancashire, Student Centre and New University Squares


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

Project details

The landmark student centre and public squares on UCLan’s Preston Campus is a gateway to the university from the city centre. The centre is designed by Hawkins/Brown and has a curved facade that embraces the square with a high colonnade, offering shade and shelter, allowing a transition between inside and outside.

Internally, there is full height, open space with a dramatic atrium complimented by a lighting installation. This area 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 gains in summer, capture passive gains 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 is provided and a PV array has been integrated to follow the line of the sweeping elevation at roof level. Our lighting designers collaborated with Jason Bruges Studios 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 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

Integrated services

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