Landscape Architects Tf-Lab London is Close runner-up in RIBA University of Lancaster Design Competition

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tf-LAB London came a close second place in the recent RIBA run competition for renovating the 1960's built University of Lancaster central spine.

The competition called for ideas to upgrade this now rather run-down and degraded core in order to better represent the high international reputation the University currently enjoys.

Conceived and constructed in the 1960's, the central pedestrian walkway connects the campus north and south from its heart at the University's central square.

Working with the university’s original architects Shepheard Epstein Hunter and Engineers/Lighting Designers Michael Popper Associates, tf-Lab set up some guiding principles to address the series of spaces and linkages in a common manner so as to give a unifying, contemporary approach with better ease and enjoyment of use while at the same time encouraging enough contrasting 'events' along the way to give interest and identity to different areas.

The introduction of higher level first floor balconies and walkways was seen by the RIBA judging panel as “an ingenious potential solution to congestion along the spine”.

The team were narrowly beaten off first place (by 3%) by Rick Mather and Grant Associates team but held off the other shortlisted teams Gustafson Porter, Land Use Consultants and White Architecture.

Although obviously disappointed not to win, the tf-LAB Landscape Architects team (headed up by Alison Hainey with Lionel Fanshawe and Jamie Liversedge) were nevertheless pleased with the result of their first national competition entry and are encouraged to consider entering others in the future.

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Michael Linnane
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