Plincke has undertaken master planning and improvement projects for nearly half of the Russell Group universities and is a leading design practice in the Higher Education sector. We recognise that universities are a competitive marketplace, competing to attract and retain the best students, who often view the campus image and facilities as just as important as course selection. Our work focuses on reflecting a positive campus image that is accessible, sustainable, and projects a positive ethos.
Founders Square, Royal Holloway Campus, University of London
The landscape design responds to the requirements of the new Library and Student Services Centre (Emily Wilding Davison Building), whilst re-configuring a significant open space adjacent to the Grade I listed Founder’s Building. The landscape proposals were informed by productive consultation with the University’s project team, various user groups, Historic England, and the Local Planning Authority, responding to a series of key aims to achieve a layout more suited to contemporary student life. The landscape proposals recognise the rich historical setting, improves existing access across the campus through addressing complex levels changes and provide flexible spaces suitable to accommodate both large and intimate groups and events.
University of Central Lancashire, Preston Campus
Following Plincke’s initial appointment in 2014/15 to complete a campus masterplan in collaboration with Allies & Morrison Architects, our work at the University has progressed to include the Student Centre and Foster Square. The Student Centre project was won via RIBA competition working alongside Hawkins / Brown, and features the creation of two new high-quality public spaces. The design layout is tethered by the concept of ‘threads’, which represent Preston’s cultural past in the cotton industry and its aeronautics future. Alongside the Student Centre project, Plincke also developed and delivered Foster Square, a new public space associated with the adjacent EIC building.
Birmingham City University, City Centre Campus
BCU’s City Centre Campus is a key component of Birmingham’s Eastside regeneration masterplan. Plincke worked with the University to design a number of phases including a series of roof-top podium decks for leisure and collaborative study. The external courtyards provide space for students and staff to relax and engage with each other. A further inaccessible roof deck was developed as a ‘brown-roof’ through dialogue with the City Council’s ecologist to provide valuable habitat for the Black Redstart, a local BAP species targeted for protection. Our initial appointment for the Parkside (BIAD) building was followed at Curzon Phase II, where additional landscaped terraces overlooking the adjacent canal basin and City Park were recently completed.
Highfield Campus Transformation, University of Southampton
Plincke were first appointed to work alongside Rick Mather Architects in the preparation of a 25-year development plan for the University’s 26ha Highfield Campus. Over a subsequent 15-year period, Plincke provided strategic landscape and urban planning advice alongside the detailed design and contract management for over 30-individual projects that has transformed the campus from a disparate collection of buildings into a cohesive, modern urban campus. Projects included the new central plaza spaces at Library Square and the Life Sciences Building, School of Nursing, and the Nanotechnology Centre. A central avenue with associated walking and cycle links improves campus navigation and wayfinding. Following the work at Highfield, Plincke have advised the University at three of its other campuses.
Cavendish Institute and Shared Facilities Hub, University of Cambridge
Working alongside Jestico & Whiles Architects, Plincke were appointed landscape architects for the £330 million advanced research facility. The Cavendish Institute occupies an extensive site within the overall West Cambridge Masterplan. The landscape design includes six enclosed courtyards, extensive streetscape design and a raised entrance plaza. The design includes ecological planting to achieve biodiversity net gain and areas for rainwater harvesting. Way finding and circulation has been improved alongside extensive cycle parking provision, helping achieve a BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) Excellent rating.
NEXUS Innovation Centre, University of Leeds
Plincke’s brief was two-fold: to provide a landscape gateway setting to the city centre campus befitting the NEXUS building, and to consider and connect the development site with the existing adjacent buildings, wider campus, and future campus masterplan. The landscape proposals centre around a generous east-west boulevard immediately to the south of the new building, linking Woodhouse Lane to the east with the existing E. C. Stoner building to the west. The boulevard provides a sequence of larger scale spaces to facilitate and encourage movement and percolation, alongside smaller more intimate spaces to encourage resting, collaboration, and socialising.
Coventry University City Centre Masterplan
The landscape design promotes new ways of working and learning and as an active
demonstration of sustainable design. This was achieved through maximising external
spaces both outside and on top of the building, through the creation of roof top social and learning spaces, in addition to intensive and extensive green roof providing valuable habitats in an otherwise baron urban environment. An entrance courtyard at ground floor provided an opportunity to create an urban green oasis with densely planted trees and ferns that also supported seating and social areas for building breakout.
The project also provides a seamless link with the wider public realm, including Coventry’s Grade 1 Listed Cathedral. Plincke designed a bespoke range of benches to allow for ample
seating and space for social activity.
RIBA Regional Award Winner
Plincke has completed landscape and public realm design for a multi-phased project at the UCL’s Gray’s Inn Road campus. The project sits within the Bloomsbury Conservation Area, with three listed buildings/ structures affected by the proposals. The landscape solution provides a sequence of publicly accessible spaces that vary in scale. A new formal square will provide the central focus of the development, providing a high-quality flexible civic space for staff, students, and the wider public. Smaller, semi-private courtyards will include a rich diversity of planting to aid relaxation, contemplation, and sensory experience.
Du Montfort University, Leicester
The redevelopment of the University’s Fletcher complex of buildings presented an unparalleled opportunity to transform a significant site within the city of Leicester. The proposals formed a critical phase in the University’s long-term masterplan built around an ambitious vision to reconnect the city centre to the River Soar, by creating a series of linked public open spaces through the Du Montfort campus. Our work on the Vijay Patel building alongside architects CPMG has provided a sequence of landscaped zones ranging from formal terraces overlooking the river frontage, large performance areas, social lawns through to secluded courtyards for outdoor dining.