Shortlist announced for MK:U International Design Competition

MK:U is a new model university and one of the flagship projects of the MK Futures 2050 program, which supports MKC’s ambition to create a city of opportunity for all. The new university is intended to create a new higher education exemplar that is open, accessible, dynamic, technologically-focused, innovative, diverse, business-oriented and entrepreneurial.

In the initial first, RfQ stage, collaboration between established and emerging talent, and between UK and international talent, was encouraged for MK:U. Stage one criteria included a demonstration of qualifications: company information; details of the proposed team; and examples of relevant experience.

  • Five teams chosen to create masterplan and concept designs for prominent 10-hectare site
  • Shortlist includes both UK and international teams
  • Full jury announced, including Nathan Bostock, CEO, Santander UK plc; acclaimed urban planner Joe BerridgePhil Smith, Former Chairman, Cisco UK & Ireland; Professor Dame Madeleine Atkins, President, Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge; Paul Williams OBE, Principal Director, Stanton Williams Architects; and Sir Peter Bazalgette, Non-Executive Chairman, ITV
  • Competition attracts Expressions of Interest from 53 teams in 14 countries 

The first stage of the competition, which launched in January 2019, attracted 53 team submissions comprising 257 individual firms from across the globe.

The five finalist 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

From the teams who made the shortlist, it is clear that almost all of the teams included names of firms with international credentials: WilkinsonEyre, Mecanoo, Hopkins, Henning Larsen, OMA, etc.