The University has recognised a unique opportunity to create a sense of place through the development of new civic spaces which will bring together both the University and the West End community.
The University is investing £70m in new infrastructure and creation of a new public realm on the site of the former Western Infirmary.
The nature of this work is to create new building plots and deliver the services and infrastructure necessary to serve the new buildings, including drainage, utilities and IT – all of which are essential for the operation of any new building.
It will also create high quality landscaping and spaces between the buildings to ensure the new campus is a pleasant and enjoyable place to be. The new public realm will:
- Connect the old and the new parts of the campus, and connect the campus to the West End;
- Provide the setting for both historic and contemporary buildings;
- Accommodate a variety of activities by the University and the local community;
- Provide priority for pedestrians;
- Integrate sustainability
Sustainability and environmental considerations are at the heart of the design. The site levels have been carefully developed to maximise the use of recycled material and minimise the quantity of material going to landfill.
The landscaping design contains a high proportion of natural stone products with bespoke structures and furniture items, high specification lighting and soft landscape treatments. Primary areas will also be sites for gateway features including Public Artworks, threshold signage and cycle hubs
The design will create a public realm in which soft landscape is an important integrated component, helping to shape the character of the University environment and contribute biodiversity benefits. This recognises the importance of trees in the townscape of the West End and the University campus. It consequently accommodates both linear / avenue tree planting along corridors and large specimen trees in more open and informal locations where they can grow to become landmark features
The deployment and design of planting for the public realm will seek to reinforce the character of the University Campus whilst selecting plants which are also suited to the local environment, and which can provide specific benefits for the new spaces, such as biodiversity.