Architect beat OMA, Wilkinson Eyre and dRMM


Hopkins Architects has won the competition to design a new university in Milton Keynes.

The practice beat a shortlist that featured OMA, Wilkinson Eyre, Hawkins\Brown, dRMM and Carmody Groarke.

Overall, 53 entries were submitted for the international design contest. All the finalists receive an honorarium of £30,000.

Organiser Malcolm Reading Consultants said: “The jurors were persuaded by the clarity and confidence of Hopkins Architects’ competition concept design, as well as the team’s collaborative approach to creating exceptional higher educational buildings internationally and the quality of their team.”

The team, which includes Expedition Engineering and landscape designer Gross Max, said it took inspiration from the 250m long Infinite Corridor which runs through the main buildings of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology at Cambridge in the US.

The winning scheme was described as an “open quarter with a bold new urban frontage made up of a series of orthogonal academic pavilions” to showcase the university’s activities in new technologies such as AI and robotics.

The scheme is intended to echo the format of the original Milton Keynes vision with buildings surrounded by greenery.

A new civic realm for the proposed new university quarter includes a graduation lawn and formal water feature.

The proposed new university is due to open to its first undergraduates in 2023. It will be delivered in three phases over 15 years by when it will be able to accommodate 15,000 students.


The shortlisted schemes and team


Hawkins Brown



The shortlist

Co:MK:U — Wilkinson Eyre and Aecom with Spaces that Work, Mecanoo, dRMM, Publica, Contemporary Art Society and Tricon

Hawkins Brown with Kcap, Grant Associates, BuroHappold Engineering and Sam Jacob Studio

Hopkins Architects with Prior & Partners, Expedition Engineering, Atelier Ten, Gross.Max, Buro 4, RLB Schumann, GRFN, Caneparo Associates, QCIC, Nick Perry Associates, Access=Design, Cordless Consultants, Sandy Brown Associates, FMDC and Tricon

Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands with Architecture 00, Heyne Tillett Steel, Hoare Lea, Bradley-Hole Schoenaich Landscape Architects, Ken Baker, Steer, Iceni, Abell Nepp, Mark London, FMDC, People Friendly Design, PFB Construction Management and FiD

OMA with BuroHappold Engineering, Planit-IE, Nicholas Hare Architects, Carmody Groarke, Galmstrup, Approved Consultant Services and Russell Partnership