Suffolk University Campus, East Anglian College Architecture, Architect, Image, Design, Second Phase

University Campus Suffolk

UCS English College Building in Southeast England design by RMJM Architects, UK

21 Jan 2009

Second phase plans for continued University Campus Suffolk development

Design: RMJM Architects

University Campus Suffolk College building

Suffolk College

Plans for the second phase of development at University Campus Suffolk (UCS) were unveiled on Tuesday 20 January at the University’s striking new £31 million Waterfront Building.

Turner and Townsend, who led the team for the Waterfront Building with RMJM as lead consultant and architect, revealed the blueprints for phase two at a special event also attended by senior figures from the University and Ipswich Borough Council.

Plans for the second phase of UCS development were presented by Neil Jackson, the Director of Estates and Facilities, Peter Williams, Director of RMJM, and Paul Maitland Director of Turner and Townsend with additional speeches from Bob Anderson, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive at UCS and James Hehir, Chief Executive of Ipswich Borough Council.

Suffolk College University Campus Suffolk

Pro Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Bob Anderson welcomed everybody; “University Campus Suffolk is very pleased to be able to announce the plans for second phase of our building developments. We hope to have the same amount of success as we have done with the Waterfront building and look forward to the near future when students can benefit from all the wonderful new facilities that will become available to them”.

University Quay, which sits 300m south of the first phase building, comprises three elements which will be constructed over the next three to five years; including two student residences and an academic building. The first block of residences will consist of 600 student apartments, retail units and a UCS managed car park with 100 spaces. Construction started at the beginning of January 2009 and Watkin Jones Group is developing this element of the work.

Meanwhile, the first module of the new academic building will be completed in September 2010, to provide state-of-the-art accommodation for the Faculty of Health, Wellbeing and Science, as well as an innovative ‘iLab’, general teaching and study space and Student Union facilities. Future modules are planned to include extensive library and learning resources, plus general teaching, specialist and further student facilities. The adjacency of the academic building and student residences will provide the opportunity for students to live, work and study in the rapidly transforming Ipswich Waterfront area.

The Campus is designed to provide optimum student safety and accommodate the changing ways in which students now study, including the need to access learning resources 24/7. The second tranche of development at UCS also consists of refurbishment work to the existing Campus North accommodation. Changes planned for Campus North will entail a number of measured improvements, with a refurbishment programme planned to commence once Suffolk New College has moved into their new further education building. This is anticipated to happen in Autumn 2009.

Director of Estates Neil Jackson has great hopes for the future of UCS; “The shining successful of our landmark Waterfront building, and all the feedback we have received from users of the building, instils a great confidence in me for the next phase of building developments and beyond. I look forward to the continued working relationship with RMJM, Turner and Townsend and the other consultants of the campus development team on the phase two development”.

Peter Williams, Project Director at RMJM said: “After the immense success of the Waterfront Building at UCS, we are delighted to have unveiled our approved plans for the future growth of UCS. Phase One set the standard for construction in the area and revealed the future shape of student life in Ipswich. We are confident that the buildings designed for University Quays, and earmarked for refurbishment at Campus North, will raise the bar even further.”

Suffolk University


University Campus Suffolk Building

University Campus Suffolk – Waterfront Building
Location: Ipswich
Client: University Campus Suffolk
Contract Value: £20 m
Size: 10,500 m2
Year: 2006-08

RMJM were appointed as masterplanners and designers for the Phase 1 Ipswich Hub building for the new University Campus Suffolk at Ipswich in early 2006 following a competitive interview process under the OGC Framework with Turner &Townsend. The project is a joint initiative between the University of East Anglia and the University of Essex.

The initiative aims to improve accessibility to tertiary education within Suffolk by the creation of a new ‘Education Quarter’ in the centre of Ipswich which includes the relocation of the existing FE college and the creation of a ‘hub’ facility for UCS.

Phase one of the Ipswich Hub provides the University Campus Suffolk with a high quality landmark building on the waterfront that will set the standards for the rest of the university phases.

Suffolk University Suffolk University Campus Suffolk University Campus

The project is vital for the institution at local, county and national level, and as such will raise the profile of Ipswich onto the national level for higher education with the associated benefits. The site for the new campus consists of the southern part of the site currently occupied by Suffolk College, as well as the waterfront site and Orwell Quay.

For UCS the aspiration is to develop a campus that consists of contemporary and timeless buildings, which requires that they are economic to construct, flexible enough to cope with a change of use, and sustainable in terms of energy efficiency and cost in use.

UCS requires that the waterfront building delivers a landmark statement, which will raise their profile and provide a strong image for the promotion of the new university.

The vision is to develop the Education Quarter, incorporating higher and further education facilities while delivering the following aspirations:
• provide flexible teaching/ social/ infrastructural accommodation for the maxiumum number of students while limiting the amount of bespoke space
• facilitate future growth through the provision of adaptable space to accommodate changing needs
• provide an identifiable university exerience that is student and community centred
• effective/ creative integration of key social spaces with teaching functions
• create a landmark/ sustainable/ accessible/ UCS shop front building

Throughout the process the success of the project will be measured against the following aspirational objectives and shared values:
• innovative
• bold
• flexible
• sustainable
• student centred
• integrated
• impact
• implementable

RMJM and the design team have taken the initial aspirational objectives and translated them into a brief for the new institution, and the following areas of accommodation are provided in the waterfront facility:
• Student Centre
• Exhibition area
• Student facing faculty space for two departments
• Teaching space – includes seminar, breakout, lecture space
• Administration space
• Learning Resource areas (quiet study and informal learning)
• Retail
• Cafe
• Storerooms

The amount of space required for the first phase building creates the opportunity of providing a new publicly accessible open space on the site. The mix of uses will encourage new links between the university institution, education quarter and local community, providing a valuable resource within Ipswich.

The University is committed to providing an environmentally exemplar building that underpins their commitment to providing an integrated student centred sustainable campus of the future. At the tender stage the building was rated as ‘Excellent’ under the BREEAM rating system.

RMJM and the design team have managed to complete the brief and design for the building in 12 months, and construction will start in April 2007, with a completion date of September 2008. At the same time RMJM have been developing plans for Orwell Quay, to the south of the first phase, and for the existing campus, to the north.

University Campus Suffolk images / information from RMJM

University Campus Suffolk building design : RMJM Architects

Location: Suffolk, south east England, UK

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