Stage one of the MK:U International Design Competition is complete with the reveal of the five shortlisted finalist teams, which include well-known practices like WilkinsonEyre, AECOM, Hawkins\Brown, Mecanoo, OMA, Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands, Henning Larsen, Sam Jacob Studio, drMM, and more.
Co-launched by MKC and Cranfield University this past January, the competition is searching for the multidisciplinary team who will design the first phase of a new model university in Milton Keynes — which is the UK’s fastest-growing city as well as its largest urban area without its own university. The new university is a key component in the MK Futures 2050 program, which is exploring the future of the evolving city.
Selected from 53 teams in 14 countries, the five shortlisted teams are:
- Co:MK:U – WilkinsonEyre and AECOM with Spaces that Work, Mecanoo, dRMM, Publica and Contemporary Art Society
- Hawkins\Brown with KCAP, Grant Associates, BuroHappold Engineering and Sam Jacob Studio
- Hopkins Architects with Prior+Partners, Expedition Engineering, Atelier Ten and GROSS. MAX.
- Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands with Henning Larsen, Architecture 00, Heyne Tillett Steel, Hoare Lea, Bradley-Hole Schoenaich Landscape Architects, Ken Baker, Steer, Iceni, Abell Nepp and FiD
- OMA with BuroHappold Engineering, Planit-IE, Nicholas Hare Architects, Carmody Groarke and Galmstrup
During stage two, each shortlisted team will be invited to a site visit in Milton Keynes and a seminar for further briefing. Teams will have 10 weeks to design a masterplan for the 10-hectare site and concept designs for 61,120 sq.m. of built area in phase one, including key buildings. The construction budget for this phase is approximately £188 million ($249 million), and the opening date is currently scheduled for 2023.
A technical panel will then evaluate the finalists' submissions and produce a report for the 12-member jury. The jury will conduct interviews and select the winner, who will be announced this summer.
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