News: 4 May 2017Landscape Architects win University of Reading design competition

Designs by our landscape architects in our Reading office have been selected to make up proposals for a re-design of the central campus of the University of Reading.

The design competition requested the design of a new Whiteknights campus route strategy and quad landscape design and this week (2nd May) our designs have been presented to University staff and students showing how the campus could look in years to come.

Comprising of a completely new public realm our designs deliver a quality of place that matches the University’s research and teaching reputation, whilst in addition, include a comprehensive review of the University’s movement network, to deliver a campus which prioritises walking and cycling.

One of the key aspects of the project was to create a central heart on the campus, allowing for fluid and natural movement. Following a study on cyclist/pedestrian conflict, it quickly became apparent that one of the key issues the university currently faces is freedom of movement, as some respondents said overcrowding on paths at peak time was putting them off walking and cycling. In addition, legibility and way finding were identified as significant elements that could be improved, to increase usability and simplify movement of the space.

John Haxworth, Landscape Design Partner at Barton Willmore said:

‘Having previously worked on a project at the URS building for the university, we could see there was huge potential for improvements to be made to the core of the University’s public realm. At the heart of our approach is understanding the needs of the University’s staff and students and then designing a series of world class spaces to meet these needs. 

‘As well as a new public realm, the project will over time deliver a redesigned network of pedestrian, cycle and vehicular routes, designed using the principle of shared space to reduce the dominance of motor vehicles.’

Janis Pich, Estates and Facilities Director, University of Reading, said:

‘This winning entry of our ‘Route Strategy and Quad Landscape’ design competition, was chosen as it fits with our vision to create an attractive focal point, complete with performance space, in the centre of Whiteknights campus, whilst enhancing routes throughout the University. We are really pleased with the emerging designs and look forward to investigating how they may be implemented.’

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