Early in 2019, Newcastle-Under-Lyme Borough Council unanimously approved our student living scheme for Keele University. This proposal, situated in a Grade II Registered Parkland and Historic Garden, features extensive new public realm and external living spaces to support 1,700 beds across 20 buildings.
Measuring 250 hectares in area, Keele University is UK’s largest University Campus. Located on a commanding ridgeline just outside Newcastle-under-Lyme the estate lies within a magnificent, mature landscape setting where many staff and students work and live.
This £100m project has student and staff experience at its core. With a growing awareness of the importance of mental wellbeing and resilience, especially in young people, we have explored how our landscape design could alleviate feelings of isolation and promote positive interactions amongst students.
One Environments worked closely with the project team at Keele University to prepare a landscape design framework that draws on the sense of place and enhances the character of each residential quarter on the estate. Building blocks and townhouses are grouped around courtyards for collective use to promote community interaction and inclusion outdoors. These public spaces are linked to main pedestrian and cycle routes, so that social spaces are never far from a well-worn path. Cycling and walking routes, fitness stations, outdoor meeting and dwelling spaces are incorporated in the scheme to enhance existing sports recreation areas.
The site’s original beginnings were established in the mid-1700s by landscape architects of the time and were founded in the English landscape garden style, created by Kent and Bridgeman and influenced by ‘Capability’ Brown and Repton.
Completion is set on a phased schedule, across three academic years, with finished blocks welcoming new residents from summer 2021.
facts & figures
client: Stride Treglown on behalf of Keele University
architect: Stride Treglown
engineer: Hoare Lea / Wardell Armstrong