Winner on Milton Keynes scheme due this summer

The 10-hectare site earmarked for MK:U

Source: MRC

This10ha site is earmarked for the university

Teams led by two-time Stirling prize winner Wilkinson Eyre and Rem Koolhaas’s OMA are among those shortlisted to come up with plans to design a new university in Milton Keynes.

The five finalists in the MK:U International Design Competition, which is being run by Milton Keynes council, Cranfield university and Malcolm Reading Consultants, have been given 10 weeks to create a masterplan and concept designs for a total of just over 61,000 sq m that will be built in the first phase of work. This will have a construction budget of around £188m.

The shortlist also features teams led by Hawkins\Brown, Hopkins Architects and Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands.

The university is part of the planned Oxford to Cambridge innovation arc and will have a curriculum focused on digital economy skills.


Full shortlist

  • Co:MK:U – Wilkinson Eyre 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

The competition jury, chaired by Sir Peter Gregson, chief executive and vice-chancellor of Cranfield university, and which includes Stanton Williams principal Paul Williams and Santander UK chief executive Nathan Bostock, will make a decision after a public exhibition of second-stage designs which is scheduled for the first week of July.

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

A winner will be chosen in the summer.


Full judging panel

  • Chair: Sir Peter Gregson, chief executive and vice-chancellor of Cranfield University
  • Prof Dame Madeleine Atkins, president, Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge
  • Sir Peter Bazalgette, non-executive chairman, ITV
  • Joe Berridge, partner, Urban Strategies Inc
  • Nathan Bostock, chief executive, Santander UK
  • Rebecca Kurth, chair, Central Milton Keynes Town Council
  • Cllr Pete Marland, leader, Milton Keynes Council
  • Sumit Paul-Choudhury, founder and managing director of Alternity and former editor-in-chief, New Scientist
  • Professor Lynette Ryals, pro-vice-chancellor, Cranfield University and chief executive, MK:U
  • Phil Smith, former chairman, Cisco UK & Ireland
  • Anthony Spira, director, MK Gallery
  • Paul Williams, principal director, Stanton Williams Architects