This £100m project, which received planning approval in early 2019, will provide new accommodation for 1,700 students spread over 20 buildings on the historic Keele University campus. Staff and student wellbeing and active lifestyles are at the heart of the development, set within the 650 acre Grade II Registered parkland and historic gardens, established in the mid-1700s in the English landscape garden style influenced by ‘Capability’ Brown and Repton. The landscape has historic interest as well as a close connection to nature with extensive woodland, lakes and wildlife habitats.
Using data from our site analysis to model the evolving design in Revit and VR viewing software, we worked with the architect and client to create a landscape design framework that draws on the unique sense of place, enhances the existing residential landscapes and implements new public realm works to create a much clearer distinction between the academic areas, civic edges, green infrastructure and the residential neighbourhoods. With student and staff experience at its core, we have explored how our landscape design could alleviate feelings of isolation and promote positive interactions amongst students, many of whom are living away from home for the first time.
Using naturalistic planting and sweeping and flowing landforms, which become more man-made, angular and precise leading into the built settings, our designs will help nestle the new buildings into their surroundings. Colourful pockets of planting will provide successive waves of colour over as long a time as possible, whilst evergreen fingers provide a constant contrasting structure especially towards the urban edges.
This landscape will provide the setting for outdoor socialising spaces including firepits, BBQ areas and outdoor performance and event spaces.
Each of the existing halls, new residential blocks and townhouses will be grouped around inviting green courtyards, designed to have their own identities and responding to the scale and setting of each building. These will provide immediate, outdoor semi private spaces for residents to socialise whilst linking to the main pedestrian and cycle routes, so that social spaces are never far from a well-worn path.
New cycling and walking routes and fitness stations will enhance existing sports recreation areas and promote active travel, whilst staff car parking will be consolidated in two new areas with accessible spaces and electric vehicle charging point bays.
In addition to design services ONE Environments also prepared ES Scoping information on Landscape issues which led on to the production of a Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment with supporting verified views and wireframes.
facts & figures
CLIENT: Stride Treglown for Keele University
LOCATION: Keele, Newcastle-Under-Lyme
PARTNERS: Stride Treglown, Hoare Lea, Wardell Armstrong
SERVICES: Landscape Architecture (S1-4); LVIA
PROGRAMME: May 2018 – January 2019