MK:U is a proposed a new model university in the Oxford to Cambridge innovation arc which will focus on digital economy skills and practical, business-focused courses, and plans to offer fast-track two-year degrees.
MK:U, a partnership between Milton Keynes Council and Cranfield University, will use the new University Quarter and the wider city as a ‘living lab’ to test out new concepts and ideas and inspire MK’s students and citizens. Benefitting from the last major undeveloped site in the city centre, and mixing university facilities with public spaces, MK:U will also be a destination open 24/7, welcoming the wider community.
The MK:U International Design Competition was seeking an integrated multidisciplinary team to design the new university. At the first stage, 53 teams comprising 257 individual firms applied.
The shortlisting panel met in March 2019 and selected five teams. These teams were asked to prepare a masterplan for the 10-hectare site and concept designs for 61,120sqm of built area, including key buildings. These designs are shown in the gallery below.
The international jury, chaired by Professor Sir Peter Gregson FREng, Chief Executive and Vice-Chancellor of Cranfield University and chair of the MK Futures 2050 Commission, met in July 2019 to interview the shortlist and selected the team led by Hopkins Architects as the winner of the competition.