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University of York Student Centre

A new masterplan and landmark Student Centre for the University of York.

Following an international design competition, O’Donnell + Tuomey (with ADP Architecture) were appointed to develop a proposal.

The brief asked for a welcoming front door for the University, a new space at the heart of the action, a new Student Centre at the crossroads of connection between city and campus.

University Of York
University of York
Start Year:

The architectural form, employing modern methods of construction and principles of environmental responsibility, responds to the material characteristics of the place. This is an iconic building design, located within a striking natural landscape, set to deliver an inspiring, engaging and welcoming heart to the campus.

The design proposes a light-filled beacon of student activity and student life – with roof gardens, winter gardens, lively social spaces and an active ground level connecting it to the campus.

The sculpted, tapered form of the building is designed with a distinctive “beehive” character, appropriate to its role as the hub of student life, while taking its place in the context of other York campus landmarks, including the Library, the Central Hall and the lake.

Inside, the dynamic design will offer a connected environment, with open views, and stairs and walkways passing freely through light filled voids.

The singular structure features a flexible plan with interconnecting multifunctional spaces, a south-facing winter garden and a walled orchard garden on the roof.

A key aspect of the design has been to create a carbon negative sustainable development, in which the technology will be intuitive and integral, to offer a digital experience to match the physical one. The proposal also includes integrated landscaped grounds, designed to create a sense of discovery between the built and the natural.

To ensure the very best student experience, the design reflects principles around sustainability, inclusion, internationalism, and collaboration, linking with city communities and students, past, present and future.

The planning application for the Student Centre at the University of York has been submitted (March 2023).


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